The ban on public gatherings imposed in the provincial capital under Section 144 has been lifted, the Punjab advocate general informed the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday.
The interim government in Punjab had slapped the ban ahead of multiple major events in Lahore on Wednesday, in order to avoid any untoward incident amid increased activity in the city.
As a rally of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which was supposed to mark the beginning of its election campaign, couldn't go as planned due to Section 144. The party had challenged the move in LHC, accusing the provincial authorities of hindering the election process.
At the outset of the hearing today, Punjab’s top law officer informed the court Section 144 had been lifted which was imposed due to security threats.
“Yesterday was a sensitive day, so the implementation of Section 144 was the right step.”
At this, LHC disposed of PTI leader Hammad Azhar’s petition.
Meanwhile, A case was registered against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and senior party leaders for allegedly attacking the police and "using foul language" against national security institutions in Lahore while Section 144 was imposed in the provincial capital.
The latest setback for the former ruling party came a day after an election rally in Lahore turned violent as the participants clashed with a police party deputed to ensure the implementation of a ban on mass gatherings under Section 144.
The case was lodged by the Raiwand deputy superintendent of police (DSP) under section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, and sections 147, 149, 353, 186, 302, 324, 188, 427, 290, 291, and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code.
According to the FIR, a mob of at least 300-400 committed violence in the city and used foul language against state institutions.
It stated that the PTI workers abused institutions on the directions of former prime minister Imran Khan, Hassan Niazi, Hammad Azhar, Memoodul Rasheed, Farrukh Habib, Fawad Chaudhry, and Ejaz Chaudhry.