Punjab

New LHC bench formed to hear petition against PAT protest

A new bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) has been formed to hear a petition against the Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s (PAT) Mall Road protest which is scheduled to take place on January 17.
The new bench, headed by Justice Aminuddin Khan and comprising Justices Shahid Jamil Khan and Shahid Karim, will hear the petition today.
Earlier, the LHC chief justice had formed a three-member bench, to be headed by Justice Farrukh Irfan Khan and comprising Justices Shahid Karim and Aminuddin Khan.
However, later, Justice Irfan recused himself from the case for personal reasons.
Petitioner AK Dogar had petitioned the LHC stating that the ‘grand protest’ is against the state and political parties should not take part in it.
Punjab govt issues protest guidelines 
As preparations for PAT’s ‘grand protest’, being attended by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Peoples Party are under way, the Punjab government
In a message on Twitter, the Punjab government stated that protests in open places are not recommended in lights of threats to public gatherings. 
However, it said since the rally participants are adamant, “they will be solely responsible for any untoward incident”. 
“There should not be exhilaration/hooting in front of the offices of political/religious parties. Also, no speeches will be allowed against the constitutional offices/armed forces/judiciary.
No one shall be forced to close their business.
Organisers shall be responsible for any damage to the public property. The participants of the rally shall not be urged/provoked to break the cordon or security barrier,” states the notification. 
The government also noted that the LHC has banned gatherings on Mall Road “so holding such a protest on the said venue will tantamount to contempt”.
Don’t infringe on rights of others while exercising yours, Punjab govt tells PAT
In a press conference held today, Punjab government spokesman and provincial ministers attempted to explain in detail why there is no justification for PAT to hold the protest when it has been petitioning courts multiple times for the same issue.
Punjab government spokesman Malik Ahmed Khan, however, said that if PAT has decided to go ahead with the protest, it should ensure the rally is peaceful and devoid of any disorder.
The minister said that the city’s residents, including business community and students, are concerned about traffic and security issues, adding that PAT should ensure it does not infringe upon the rights of others while exercising its own.