LHC hints at ordering removal of barricades

* Observes that govt could seek Dr Qadri’s affidavit to maintain pace

LAHORE: Justice Muhammad Khalid Mahmood Khan of the Lahore High Court on Friday directed the capital city police officer (CCPO) to provide revised security plan for the city until today (Saturday). The judge also observed that if Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) Chief Dr Tahirul Qadri gives an affidavit that he would be responsible for any harm to peace, then the court could order for removal of shipping containers and barriers placed on roads in different areas.
Hearing a petition filed by a citizen, Hassan Awais, the judge summoned the inspector general of police (IG) for his reply on a short notice.
The IGP appeared in the court and said that the police had placed shipping containers on roads for security of lives and properties of citizens.Advocate General Hanif Khatana said that owning to threats to the life of Dr Qadri, the police had put obstacles on roads leading to his residence as part of a security plan. 
The CCPO submitted that under the security plan, the police had set up three-fold security barriers to avoid any untoward incident.PAT counsel Rafaqat Ali Kahloon submitted that the police had gunned down 14 people during removal of security barriers on June 17 but that now the government itself was placing obstacles.
The judge remarked that it was failure of the government and why it could not take an affidavit from Dr Qadri for assurance of maintenance of peace. The judge also remarked that who would give assurance that there would be no harm to lives and properties of citizens? 
Earlier, petitioner’s counsel Ahmed Awais submitted that the police had blocked all thoroughfares leading to Model Town and have virtually detained all of the area residents into their houses. He submitted that the Punjab government was using its entire machinery, force, personnel and equipment to stop, sabotage and discourage the August 10 ‘martyrs day’ announced by the PAT.
He said that the government had blocked all of major public roads in and around Model Town, Model Town Extension and adjacent areas by parking police vans, trucks, shipping containers and by laying barbed wire and other such obstacles. He said that the government had created problems for ordinary citizens and fundamental rights of citizens at large were also being trampled thereby. He said that the entire action was ill motivated as the Punjab government wanted to gain political advantage over the PAT. 
He submitted that the action of blocking roads was illegal, unconstitutional, discriminatory, mala fide, and based on ulterior motives. 
He requested the court to declare the action of blocking roads as illegal and unconstitutional and order for removal of obstacles immediately.

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