SC refuses to intervene as PTI long march nears Islamabad.

ISLAMABAD -- While heaAring separate petitions pertaining to the inconvenience the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) long march will likely cause to the public upon its arrival in Islamabad, the Supreme Court said on Thursday that it would not intervene until the situation 'got out of hand', whereas the Islamabad High Court (IHC) said protesters could not affect the freedom of movement of citizens by blocking roads.

During the hearing of a petAition filed by Senator KamAran Murtaza of the JamAiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), the Supreme Court bench said it could not entertain the 'infructuous' petition since it could not regulate the long march at this point.

The petitioner had sought court directives to control the long march, along with an assurance from the PTI leadership to ensure that such gatherings will not encroach on the fundamental rights of the people of Islamabad.

As it dismissed the plea, the top court said the political issues should be sorted out of the courts. It, however, allowed the petitioner to approach the court again if the situation went out of hand during the long march.

During the hearing, CJP Umar Ata Bandial asked the petitioner: 'Are you afraid that the Azadi march may repeat the incidents of May 25, when protestors had breached the court directions by entering the Red Zone on their way towards D-Chowk.'

Senator Murtaza responded that the march would reach Islamabad by Friday or Saturday as per PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry's statement and expressed apprehensions that the march would affect the routine life in the federal capital.

'Staging a march is the right of PTI but it should not stifle the rights of ordinary citizens,' argued the senator.

Justice Athar Minallah, who was recently elevated to the top court, asked the petitioner to approach the executive over the matter. He further asked if the senator considered the administration 'weak and helpless' to control the participants of the long march. 'Should the court perform the role of the deputy commissioner,' wondered Justice Minallah.

'Extraordinary situations'

The court can only intervene in case of extraordinary situations, Justice Minallah reminded the petitioner, asking why was there a need for the court's intervention when the administration enjoyed a wide range of powers to tackle any kind of situation.

Senator Murtaza, however, pleaded that the situation had gone too far since a person had been killed during the Wazirabad firing incident and added that he had...

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