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LHC suspends Pemra order banning Imran Khan’s speeches

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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday suspended Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s (Pemra) order, banning the broadcast of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairperson Imran Khan’s speeches.

Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza announced the suspension of the order in a verdict he had reserved earlier today. The judge also admitted the PTI chief’s request for the formation of a full bench and sent the case to the LHC chief justice.

The judge after announcing the verdict adjourned the hearing till March 13.

On Sunday, Pemra slapped a ban on the live broadcast of the deposed prime minister after he heaped scorn on state institutions amid drama over his arrest from Zaman Park in the Toshakhana case. Subsequently, Khan filed a petition in the LHC for the annulment of the ban, accusing the regulatory authority of exceeding its constitutional powers by imposing the restriction.

Today, LHC’s Justice Mirza took up the plea for a hearing and inquired about the grounds of the case.

Khan’s lawyer informed the court that an earlier ban imposed by Pemra was also suspended by the Islamabad High Court.

At this, Pemra’s lawyer opposed the argument and argued that the case was in IHC’s jurisdiction and not in the LHC.

“A five-member bench has heard a case of similar nature on Monday,” the lawyer maintained while requesting the court to forward the plea to a larger bench.

At this, the LHC had reserved its verdict. 

LHC seeks security plan for Imran Khan

Meanwhile, the high court also heard a separate plea filed by the PTI chief for security and permission to appear via video link in courts.

The court remarked that the individuals related to the relief sought in the petition were not even a party in the case.

At this, Khan’s lawyer Salman Safdar informed the court that some of the parties had been removed from the petition after the objections were raised on the plea.

He said that the plea had been filed on Monday and fixed for the hearing yesterday after the removal of objections.

At this, Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh remarked that the petition was very confusing.

The court asked the lawyer if they wanted foolproof security for Khan.

“Does a former prime minister get the security,” it asked.

At this, the lawyer responded positively while Justice Sheikh directed him to make corrections in the petition.

“Bring the petition after correction and the court will take it up today,” he added. 

When the hearing reconvened, Khan’s lawyer informed the court that the corrections had been made in the plea.

“There is a law for the provision of security for a former premier,” he maintained.

He told the court that Khan had been given security but it was withdrawn on January 19.

At this, the federal government’s lawyer maintained that the provision of security was a subject of provincial government.

Meanwhile, Justice Sheikh remarked that there was a security issue in this court, however, the petitioner needs to approach a relevant court for permission of appearance via video link.

The court then directed the provincial and federal governments’ lawyers to assist the court after taking directives on provision of security by Monday.

At this, Khan’s lawyer requested the court to provide security to Khan immediately.

However, the court told him to wait till the government lawyers bring the security plan, and issued notices to Punjab inspector general of police and home department.

Elections

Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri’s JUI-F resignation from the Senate

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Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani received the JUI-F leader’s resignation, which he accepted.

In the National Assembly, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri will be sworn in as a member.

Following their victories in the general elections on February 8 for the Balochistan Assembly, Senators Sarfraz Bugti and Prince Umar Ahmedzai had already announced their resignations from the Senate.

Prior carer Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani received the resignation of Federal Interior Minister Bugti, which he accepted.

In a similar vein, Senator Prince Umar Ahmedzai of the Balochistan Awami Party resigned from the Senate following his election to the provincial legislature.

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Elections

NA session: The interim government addresses President Alvi’s concerns

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Details indicate that in response, the federal government informed Dr. Arif Alvi that Article 91 of the 1973 Constitution does not grant the president the “discretion or power” to adjourn the National Assembly session.

The sources quoted the federal administration and said, “Nowhere in Article 91 is it written that if the House is incomplete, the National Assembly session cannot be convened.”

It further said that Article 54 of the constitution allowed the president to adjourn the National Assembly’s “ordinary” session alone. According to the summary, the president was requested to call an extraordinary session of the National Assembly so that the newly elected members may take an oath of office.

Dr. Arif Alvi was asked to reconsider his choice and call a meeting of the National Assembly by the acting federal government on February 29.

The sources quoted the federal government and stated, “It is not written anywhere in the constitution that if specific seats are not allotted, the session cannot be called.”

It further said that the National Assembly must be called within 21 days following the election in accordance with Clause 2 of Article 91 of the constitution.

The caretaker administration responded, saying, “Even if the President does not call the National Assembly session by February 29, it would still be held on the same day.”

Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf called a session of the National Assembly on Thursday, February 29th, in order to administer the oath to the newly elected Members of Congress earlier on Monday.

According to specifics, President Arif Alvi declined to call a meeting under clause 2 of Article 91 of the constitution, arguing that the lower body is still unfinished because a decision on certain reserved seats has not yet been made. Consequently, the Speaker National Assembly called the meeting.

The National Assembly’s maiden session was called by Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. The freshly elected members of the National Assembly would take the oath of office from the Speaker. During the first session, the election schedules for speaker and deputy speaker will also be released.

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Pakistan

Maryam Nawaz honours ASP Shehr Bano For His Extraordinary Courage

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Maryam Nawaz, the PML-N’s nominee for chief minister of Punjab, honours young police officer Shehr Bano for displaying extraordinary bravery, insight, and courage.

According to Maryam Nawaz, if the female police officer hadn’t arrived in time, a catastrophe may have happened.

The country is proud of you, she said as she praised Shehr Bano.

According to Maryam Nawaz, Shehr Bano maintained humanity and the law in the face of pressure, numbers, and circumstances.

She stated that it is required of every police officer to contribute to the defence of individuals’ lives and property.

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