Usman Danish

The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has ruled for the release of PTI workers who were arrested under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) while protesting against the desecration of the Quran in Sweden.

Following the arrest of PTI workers from Shangla under Section 3 MPO for their protest against the Quran desecration incident in Sweden, the court heard their petitions and subsequently ordered their release. The court also mandated that the accused individuals submit bail bonds.

During the hearing, the lawyer representing the petitioners informed the court that the PTI workers were detained under Section 3 MPO. They had participated in a peaceful protest against the desecration of the Quran in Sweden and were subsequently apprehended.

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In response, Justice Syed Arshad Ali addressed the Additional Advocate General (AAG), urging them to review the contents of the First Information Report (FIR). The AAG stated that according to the FIR, the accused individuals were engaged in a protest in Shangla, condemning the Quran desecration and expressing support for the PTI chairman. However, concerns were raised about the potential for this protest to disrupt law and order due to partisan slogans being chanted.

Justice Syed Arshad Ali pointed out that the FIR suggested the protest remained peaceful throughout, undermining the AAG’s argument. As a result, the court sided with the PTI petitioners and granted their release.

Shah Faisal Utmankhel Advocate, the lawyer representing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), highlighted that the PTI workers in Shangla had protested against the desecration of the Holy Quran in Sweden. He noted that protests had occurred nationwide on that day, including peaceful demonstrations in Shangla. Despite this, only PTI workers were singled out for legal action. Utmankhel further emphasized that section 144 does not prohibit protests and criticized the targeting of PTI workers.

Utmankhel underscored that this action appears to be politically motivated and retaliatory. However, he expressed confidence in the court’s decision and the resilience of PTI workers, reaffirming their commitment to upholding the constitution and abiding by the law.

He asserted that while other political parties are allowed to protest, PTI workers face unwarranted consequences. Utmankhel highlighted that the constitution of Pakistan guarantees every citizen the right to freedom of expression and opinion, a right that cannot be denied.

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