Laying siege to the Capital


AS PTI Chairman Imran Khan has finally announced to besiege the Federal Capital on November 2, a petition has been filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking directions to the Government for designating a specific place for the PTI to hold its protest in the capital. The petition has also sought directions for both the PTI and the Federal Government to evolve a mechanism for peaceful protest, at a particular place where fundamental rights of the citizens are not affected like 2014 sit-in.
The petitioners, two of the residents of capital, have represented feelings and aspirations of all those living in the cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi as they bore the brunt of sit-in in 2014. The crisis is brewing up and IHC should hear the case on priority and on day-to-day basis. This is because Imran Khan is on record having said that there would be unparalleled blockade of the Federal Capital while Sheikh Rashid has been assigned the task of paralysing Rawalpindi. As per their declared intentions, all roads leading to the two cities are to be blocked and this would obviously mean restriction on freedom of movement, depriving people of their livelihood, preventing government machinery to function, closure of shops, markets and bazaars, choking of food and other supplies besides closure of schools, colleges and universities causing loss of studies of thousands of people. It is all the more regrettable that the Government seems to have no plan to safeguard rights of the people. It gave freedom of action to PTI and PAT in 2014 but as a consequence citizens suffered immensely. We, therefore, believe that the IHC must hear the case with urgency it deserves and seek adequate guarantees from both the Government and the PTI that fundamental rights of citizens of Islamabad and Rawalpindi would not be compromised at any cost.