Islamabad, Aug 21 IANS | 2 months ago

Pakistan's Supreme Court Thursday ordered the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) to file a concise statement by Friday in relation to the petition filed against the party over its ongoing protests seeking the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

A five-judge larger bench, headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk, was hearing the case, Dawn online reported.

Hamid Khan and Ahmed Owais appeared for PTI in the court.

Advocate Asma Jahangir said that the court supported the right to freedom of expression and always encouraged this right but an impression was being created as if freedom was absolute.

According to the Constitution, freedom of expression and right of assembly was subject to some reasonable restriction, she said.

Hamid Khan argued that the PTI was a peaceful party which had never violated the constitutional lines and the party was against any extra-constitutional steps.

Another judge on the bench, Justice Anwar Saeed Khan Khosa, remarked that it was ironic that claims were being made regarding commitment to the Constitution but at the same time the Constitution Avenue remained blocked.

He said the PTI might not backtrack from its demands but it should at least move away from the Constitution Avenue.

The petition was filed by the Lahore High Court's Multan Bar Association.

Several thousand supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) leader Tahir-ul-Qadri are staging a week-long sit-in in Islamabad to press for Sharif's resignation.

Imran Khan claimed that 2013 general elections were rigged and that fresh elections be held.

Pakistan's parliament Thursday unanimously passed a resolution rejecting demands by Imran Khan and Qadri for the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and dissolution of assemblies.

Sharif has ruled out resigning, but agreed to discuss other demands of the two leaders including a call for investigation into the alleged rigging in last year's election.

Earlier Wednesday, the court had issued notices to Imran Khan and Qadri restraining them from trespassing into prohibited zones.

(Posted on 21-08-2014)

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