IHC bars children, elderly people from Islamabad sit-ins

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday barred the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) from bringing children and elderly people to the ongoing anti-government protests in the federal capital.
The court said that it appeared prima facie that permission had not been sought from relevant authorities for holding the sit-ins.
A single bench of the IHC, headed by Justice Athar Minallah, was hearing the case today in relation to a petition filed by the PTI against imposition of Section 144 in the federal capital.
During the hearing, Justice Athar questioned whether the court’s interim order pertaining to the non-arrest of PTI workers was being followed.
Responding to which, PTI leader Asad Umar said that the order was being followed except that some arrests were made on a certain night.
Justice Athar remarked that it appeared that these protests were illegal, adding that District Commissioner Officer (DCO) Islamabad said that he had not sanctioned these.
The judge said that if the protests were legal, then the government would sponsor the expenses whereas if they were found to be illegal, then the protesting parties would have to bear the expenses incurred.
Justice Athar said that if holding protests was a fundamental right, then freedom of movement also qualified as a fundamental right, adding that citizens were rendered immobile due to the protests in the capital.
He also said that children and elderly people should not be made to partake in the sit-ins upon which Umar assured the court that the party would adhere to its order.
The court has suspended the imposition of Section 144 in the federal capital until the next hearing of the case which has been adjourned to October 1.