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Pakistan

SC dismisses petition to stop PTI’s march

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ISLAMABAD:

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial on Thursday dismissed a petition to stop Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) ‘Haqeeqi Azadi’ march and remarked that it is a political problem that can be solved politically.

The CJP made the remarks during the hearing of a petition filed by Senator Kamran Murtaza against the PTI’s long march.

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The chief justice asked the petitioner whether he is afraid that the incident of May 25, wherein the participants of the ‘Azadi March’ violated a court order about the limits set for it, may happen again.

During the hearing, Justice Bandial also asked the senator if he has mentioned past violations in the application, adding that interference in these types of issues creates an awkward situation for the court.

While referring to PTI’s ‘Azadi March’ which was held earlier this year in May, the CJP inquired whether the participants had weapons, adding that the right to protest is not unlimited but is subject to constitutional limits.

Read: ‘Unknowingly’ violated SC May 25 orders: Imran

“You are saying that the long march is within the boundaries of Punjab. Have you contacted the Punjab government?” asked the chief justice.

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Justice Bandial further questioned whether the court can intervene if the link between the province and the federation is dysfunctional.

“You are a senator, strengthen the parliament,” the CJP told the senator. He also said that if there is a clear threat of constitutional violation, the judiciary will intervene.

Justice Minallah then remarked that the executive has wide-ranging powers if someone violates it and asked would the administration and parliament not be weakened by the intervention of the judiciary.

During the hearing to request to stop the long march, the court also inquired whether the place for the march has been determined and called Additional Attorney General Chaudhry (AAG) Amir Rehman to the rostrum.

The AAG told the court that the administration had asked PTI to hold a rally in Rawat, adding it had sought an affidavit from the PTI, which has not yet been filed.

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Justice Minallah asked the AAG whether he is implying that the state is helpless and cannot do anything.

Also read: Red alert issued ahead of PTI’s long march

To this Rehman replied that if 20,000 people arrive in the capital, it becomes difficult to stop them practically, adding that the government wants to avoid any bloodshed.

The CJP then remarked that every citizen is affected by such a situation. However, he maintained the court does not want to give an order that is not followed.

During the hearing, the petitioner also informed the court that PTI’s long march started 2 weeks ago, adding that according to senior PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry, the march will reach Islamabad on Friday and Saturday later this week.

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Murtaza further maintained that normal life may be affected due to the party’s long march.

“Long march is the right of PTI but the rights of the common man should not be affected,” the senator told the court.

Justice Ayesha Malik then inquired whether the government has made any mechanism to regulate the protest.

“Do you think that the administration has become so weak that it cannot control the long march?” questioned Justice Athar Minallah.

Read: Divide and conquer? PTI long march splits in two

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The petitioner replied that it seems that the administration cannot control the situation. However, the CJP maintained that apparently, the intervention of the court in the case of the long march will be premature.

Justice Minallah further said that this is a matter for the executive and that it should be referred to them, adding that the judiciary can intervene only in exceptional circumstances.

“Why should the court interfere when the administration has wide-ranging powers to control such a situation?” remarked Justice Minallah.

While giving further arguments in the court, the senator maintained that the matter has gone ‘too far now’ and added that a person was killed in the attempted assassination attempt on PTI chief Imran Khan.

To this, Justice Ayesha questioned if the petitioner had approached the administration as the march has been going on for many days now.

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“What is haste in the case of the long march and what is the negligence of the administration?” Justice Ayesha further questioned.

“There are protests in many places including Parliament in Islamabad. Have you ever gone to court against other protests? Why is the intervention of the court necessary in the long march of a particular party?” Justice Ayesha questioned.

The senator further informed the court that he has filed the petition in a personal capacity. To this Justice Minallah remarked, “how can we believe that you are a part of the government and have come in a personal capacity?”

Advocate General Islamabad Jahangir Jadoon also appeared in the SC. The chief justice inquired what the administration has done regarding the long march.

Jadoon told the court that the administration had asked the PTI about the date, time, and place, which had not been replied to.

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“Before the Wazirabad incident, PTI talked about bloodshed. After the Wazirabad incident, the administration refused to allow PTI to enter Islamabad,” he said.

The advocate general furthered that the case on the permission of the rally in Islamabad is pending in the IHC.

The court then dismissed the senator’s petition against the PTI’s long march.





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Pakistan

Imran’s right of defence struck out in defamation case

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ISLAMABAD:

Additional District Judge Lahore Chaudhry Muhammad Asif struck out the right of defence of former prime minister since concerned interrogatories of the plaintiff were not submitted on Thursday.

“This court has been left with no option except to strike out the right of defence of the defendant (Imran Khan) in this case due to non-submission of requisite replies by the defendant regarding concerned interrogatories of the plaintiff. So, the right of defence of the defendant is hereby struck out in this case accordingly,” the order stated.

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The court asked the plaintiff to submit a list of witnesses on November 29.

It has been learned that the court has so far conducted 78 hearings of the case.

The order stated that the counsel for the defendant submitted an application for adjournment on the ground that the defendant was going to file a revised petition against the order of the court regarding the dismissal of concerned objections of the defendant.

Also read: ‘No objections’ to Imran’s helicopter landing at Parade Ground: GHQ

“From the perusal of record, it reveals that various reasonable opportunities have been provided to defendant to submit the requisite replies to concerned interrogatories of the plaintiff but the defendant has not done the needful,” it stated.

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“Vide previous order dated 17.11.2022, one more opportunity was granted to the defendant in this regard with the clarification that in case of submission of requisite replies from the defendant’s side regarding concerned interrogatories of the plaintiff on the next date, the right of defence of the defendant shall be struck out. No lawful justification exits for the grant of further adjournment,” it added.

The court rejected the adjournment plea of Imran’s counsel.

According to details, the defamation suit states that Imran started uttering false and malicious statements against the plaintiff (Shehbaz) that the latter offered Rs10 billion to the former through a common friend in exchange of withdrawing the case of Panama Papers pending before the Supreme Court (SC).

Also read: President Alvi in Lahore to consult Imran over COAS appointment

​​​It pleads that the baseless and defamatory statements by the defendant widely circulated by media lowered the integrity of the plaintiff and caused him extreme mental torture, agony and anxiety. The court has been requested to issue a decree for recovery of Rs 10 billion as compensation for the publication of defamatory content in favour of the plaintiff.

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In his written statement, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief states that one of his friends told him that someone known to him and also the Sharif family approached him with an offer to pay billions of rupees if he could convince him to stop pursuing the Panama Papers case.

Imran says that he disclosed the incident for the consumption of the public at large and in the interest of the public good does not constitute any defamation.





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Pakistan to send armed helicopter unit to UN peacekeeping mission

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UNITED NATIONS:

Pakistan and Bangladesh will each be sending an armed helicopter unit to the UN peacekeeping operations in Mali, which faces serious problems as several countries have withdrawn or announced plans to pull out their personnel, a UN spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Spokesman Farhan Haq said that India will supply a utility helicopter unit to the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, known as MINUSMA, and all three are expected to be deployed by March next year.

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“These provide much-needed support to our forces and are critical for early warning and rapid response to protect civilians,” the spokesman told reporters at the regular noon briefing at the UN headquarters in New York.

“The UN continues to discuss with member states the deployment of new assets and plans to fill longer-standing gaps in addition to those resulting from recent announcements” of withdrawals, he said.

Set up in 2013, MINUSMA has 17,622 personnel helping the Malian government combat terrorists operating in the country.

MINUSMA is one of the deadliest operations having claimed the lives of 292 peacekeepers.

France completed its withdrawal earlier this year and it was followed by Egypt in August.

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Germany said that it was withdrawing its personnel, who numbered 595 in the latest UN roster, from MINUSMA by May next year.

Also read: Who is country’s new army chief Asim Munir?

Britain is also pulling out its 249 personnel.

Ivory Coast also said that it would discontinue the participation of its personnel, who numbered 898, in MINUSMA when the current deployment ends because of a separate dispute with the Mali government over the arrest of its soldiers who went there on a mission unconnected to the UN.

Despite the dangerous nature of the Minusma, Pakistani military doctors serving in Mopti, a town in the fifth administrative region of Mali. have continued to serve, earning praise for their work. They operate a state-of-the-art hospital staffed with 75 medical personnel, including 10 women and 65 men, according to the UN.

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The hospital operates 24 hours a day, every day, and they are always on alert. All specialities are covered, from pharmacy to gynaecology. However, its main purpose is to perform life-saving and urgent surgery when peacekeepers are injured, it was pointed out.





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Imran urges ‘all Pakistanis to participate’ in PTI long march

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Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Thursday urged all Pakistanis to participate in his party’s much-hyped long march on Saturday (Nov26) in what appears to be his final showdown with the incumbent government to force it to announce early election date.

“Dear Pakistanis, I want all of you to participate in our haqeeqi long march in Pindi at 1pm on Saturday,” he said in a short video statement.

Imran, who was removed from power through a vote of no confidence in April, said that only a nation which has justice in it will get real freedom. “When there is justice, there are rights. When there are rights, a nation is free. Only an independent nation is prosperous,” he went on to say.

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Read more: Interior ministry warns PTI of threats, urges postponing Pindi march

The former premier said that the nation will not stay silent until it gets real freedom. “I am coming for you despite my [health] condition and all of you need to come to Pindi for me,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, senior PTI leader Asad Umar presided over a meeting regarding the party’s preparation for the long march in Rawalpindi. Senior PTI leadership including Umar Ayub, Shibli Faraz, Ali Nawaz and others participated in the meeting.

The meeting discussed the overall preparations for the long march in Rawalpindi. The security plan, long march route and other significant matters came under discussion during the meeting.

The meeting was briefed that a caravan had left from Karachi for Rawalpindi whereas two others were ready to begin their journey to the garrison city from Quetta and Gilgit-Baltistan.

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A briefing was also given in the meeting regarding the accommodation of the participants.

Issues regarding the provision of all basic needs including food and accommodation to the participants of the march were also discussed in the meeting.

“The nation is fully united and eager to achieve real freedom,” Umar said, adding that the party would welcome caravans from all over Pakistan in Rawalpindi.

“The captain [Imran Khan] will lead the ocean of people in Rawalpindi on November 26,” he further said.





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