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Why the sit-ins, Pakistan court asks protesting parties

Islamabad, Sep 12 (IANS) The Lahore High Court (LHC) Friday asked the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) to submit written responses during the Sep 22 hearing of a petition against sit-ins in Islamabad.

The petition was filed by citizen Mohammad Kamran, saying PTI and PAT leaders had violated the court’s orders by continuing their sit-ins and hence should be tried for contempt of court, Dawn online reported.

Besides PTI and PAT, the court has also asked Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and Awami Muslim League (AML) to submit their responses.

A full bench presided by Justice Khalid Mahmood Khan heard the case.

In its remarks to the defendants, the court said it had asked the protesting parties to ensure that national interest was not endangered, to which none of the groups obliged and political decisions were made without referring to the law.

The hearing was subsequently adjourned to Sep 22.

Earlier in August, the court issued its verdict against the marches announced by PTI and PAT and declared the demands put forward by Imran Khan and Tahir ul-Qadri as “unconstitutional”.

“PTI and PAT are restrained from launching ‘Azadi’ march, ‘Inqilab’ march or holding sit-in at Islamabad, in any unconstitutional way,” a short order issued by a full bench had said.

The court had also observed that leaders and activists of PTI and PAT could face legal action in case the constitution was violated.

The protests led by Imran Khan and Tahir-ul-Qadri began Aug 15 in an attempt to overthrow Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whom they have accused of rigging the 2013 general elections.

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