IHC directs DC to hold meetings with the traders to prevent loss

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday directed the Islamabad deputy commissioner (DC) to hold a meeting with the traders of the capital and discuss ways to avoid further loss due to the ongoing sit-ins.The court also suggested DC Mujahid Sher Dil to establish a helpline facility to assist the residents of Aabpara, who were facing problems because of the sit-ins. A single bench of Justice Athir Minnallah heared the petition filed by Mohammad Ajmal Baloch, President of All Paksitan Anjuman-e-Tajran against Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) Chief Tahirul Qadri and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) Chief Imran Khan, who were allegedly violating the fundamental rights of the public in general and traders at large. During the course of the proceedings, Justice Athir observed that though holding a protest was a constitutional right but no one had the right to disturb the normal life of the residents and traders of the capital.He also stated that the government should allow such sit-ins at places where adequate security measures were taken to accommodate and protect the participants, besides protecting the life, liberty, free movement and business of the inhabitants of the capital. Akram Chuadhry, counsel for the petitioner, pleaded that now the protesters were going to enter the Red Zone, which was a rebellious act against the state. This might be an act of high treason, he added. He said that the Inqilab and Azadi marches had caused about Rs 300 billion loss to the country so far. Chuadhry pleaded that though holding a protest was a constitutional right of the two parties, but the constitution did not allow them to paralyse the life of the citizens. The court, while directing the DC to submit a para-wise reply of the petition, also sought a report regarding the steps taken by him and adjourned the hearing till the 25th.On the other hand, the stallholders of Sector G6 weekly bazaars have shown serious concerns over the sit-ins of Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) as such activities have adversely affected their businesses. The stallholders said that since almost a week, the Islamabad’s traders have been confined to their homes, due to which they are suffering huge losses. Muhammad Ramazan, a stallholder said that the business activities, especially in the Aabpara Market and Sunday Bazaar, have come to a complete halt, due to the marches and sit-ins. The stallholders have appealed to the district administration to allot a separate space for the protests and not to allow such activities in the business centres. 

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