ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a petition filed by the JUI-F Senator Kamran Murtaza seeking to stop the PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s long march.
A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ayesha Malik and Justice Athar Minallah declared the petition infructuous and noted that it is a political matter that can be solved politically. The Chief Justice observed that prima facie, the court’s interference on the issue would be premature. He said the court will exercise judicial restraint in such political matters.
The court, however, told the petitioner, who is also a lawyer of the apex court, that he could file a fresh petition if the law and order situation worsens at any stage. During the hearing the petitioner apprised the court that it has been two weeks since the PTI long march kicked off.
He said according to PTI Senior Vice President, it will reach Islamabad by this Friday. He said everyday life of people has been disrupted due to the long march. He said PTI has the right to hold a long march, but in no way it is allowed to disturb the life of common people.
Justice Ayesha Malik asked the petitioner whether the government had introduced a mechanism to regulate the protests. Justice Athar Minallah also asked Kamran Murtaza whether he thought that the administration had become so weak that it could not handle the long march. Justice Athar Minallah noted that when the administration has the authority to control the long march, why should the courts intervene.
He said this is a matter related to the executive, thus the petitioner should approach the government. He, however, noted that the court could intervene in the matter in unusual circumstances.
The petitioner stated that things have gotten out of hand now as during the long march, a person lost his life in Wazirabad and Imran Khan was also injured. The court noted that the long march is continuing for last so many days so the petitioner should have approached the district administration.
The Chief Justice noted that the long march is a political issue and there is a political solution to it as well. He said there are certain limits that political parties should adhere to during the protests.