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Monday, June 05, 2023  
16 Dhul-Qadah 1444  

Police operation at Zaman Park postponed till Friday

Justice Sheikh proposes change in schedule for PTI’s Minar-e-Pakistan rally
<p>Supporters of former prime minister Imran Khan and riot police scuffle outside Khan’s house to prevent officers from arresting him, in Lahore on March 14, 2023. AFP</p>

Supporters of former prime minister Imran Khan and riot police scuffle outside Khan’s house to prevent officers from arresting him, in Lahore on March 14, 2023. AFP

The decision to bar the police from raiding PTI chief Imran Khan’s residence in Lahore would remain in force till tomorrow (Friday), the Lahore High Court said.

“On the request of the learned counsel for the petitioner, this case is adjourned to 17.03.2023. Injunctive order passed yesterday shall remain in force till then,” the LHC said in its order on Thursday.

Earlier, the LHC ordered the Punjab police and the PTI to find an amicable solution to the ongoing crisis at Zaman Park, where PTI activists clashed with Ranger and the police for 24 hours a day earlier when LEAs came to arrest Imran Khan.

The court extended a ban on any police action at Zaman Park. On Wednesday, it barred the police from raiding Imran Khan’s residence again.

The “injunctive order passed yesterday shall remain in force till [Firday],” a short order read.

Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh also proposed that PTI should change the schedule for its Minar-e-Pakistan rally planned for Sunday. “Move it back or forward by a day, or the court will pass an order,” the justice said.

PTI’s Fawad Chaudhry confirmed in a tweet that the Punjab chief secretary and IGP had been instructed to mutually resolve the issue with the party.

The LHC on Thursday resumed hearing a PTI petition seeking an injunction against the police operation at Zaman Park.

Justice Sheikh lamented the fact that PTI was trying to seek some relief from two courts at the same time. “Sometimes you rush to the Islamabad High Court and sometimes come here,” said the justice.

Both parties have created a mess for the entire nation, the court observed.

PTI’s Fawad Chaudhry said that Imran Khan had appeared before four courts in Islamabad last week and he could have likewise appeared before the fifth court which eventually issued the arrest warrant for him.

But Khan did not appear in the court located at F-8 District Courts since there was a threat alert, said Chaudhry adding that the relevant court was duly informed about the situation.

A request was made to the court to allow Khan’s appearance via video link, he said.

Justice Sheikh asked whether it was the responsibility of the court to provide security under the law.

The justice said that the Punjab police and the PTI must sit together and find an amicable solution. “For God sake let the system continue to work. Solve the issue today,” said Justice Sheikh.

Punjab IGP Usman Anwar said that providing security for Khan’s court appearance was his responsibility and he was ready to sit with the PTI.

The IGP told the court that he had deployed 4,200 police personnel without arms at Zaman Park, but they were attacked with petrol bombs. The police would not tolerate any “no-go area”, he said.

The Punjab advocate general told the court that Khan’s arrest warrant was still active.

The court adjourned until 11am on Friday.

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