Pakistan court allows opposition sit-in

October 31, 2016 2:00 pm

The supporters of the Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) political party shout anti-government slogans during a protest in Swabi, October 30, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

A top court in Pakistan has given permission to opposition protesters to stage a highly-anticipated anti-government sit-in in the capital this week.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) announced on Monday that it gave the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Party permission to hold the sit-in on Wednesday, dismissing government orders banning the protest action.
Last week, the government had enforced administrative orders banning gatherings of more than five people in the capital, Islamabad, and the nearby city of Rawalpindi, prompting the arrest of many PTI supporters.
The IHC, however, said holding the PTI sit-in would be allowed provided that it is held near Islamabad’s Parade Ground in the capital’s “Democracy Park and Speech Corner.”
The IHC warned that the demonstration must not disrupt the daily life of citizens, media reported.

Imran Khan (C), the leader of the Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) political party, speaks during a press briefing in Islamabad, October 30, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Earlier, PTI Chairman Imran Khan had warned that the October 2 demo would lead to the “shutdown” of the capital and force Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign.
Meanwhile, security has been boosted in Islamabad as law enforcement personnel brace themselves for confronting PTI supporters flocking to the capital.
Khan, a former national cricketing hero, accuses Sharif and his family of corruption.
Khan has vowed to continue the anti-government protests until Sharif either resigns or submits himself for investigation.
Documents from the Panama-based Mossack Fonseca law firm in April appear to show that Sharif’s daughter and two of his sons owned offshore holding companies registered in the British Virgin Islands. Sharif’s family denies wrongdoing.
Holding offshore companies is not illegal in Pakistan, but Khan has implied the money was gained through corruption.
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