Islamabad High Court requests deputy commissioner's bail plea of 23 members of PTM and Awami Workers Party (AWP) arrested for protesting against the arrest of Pashtun Protection Movement (PTM) chief Manzoor Pashtin.
Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard bail pleas of 23 protesters in the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory of Islamabad, during which Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Hamza appeared before the court.
During the hearing, Hamza Shafaqat told the court that the case filed against all the accused was withdrawn.
Following the deputy commissioner's statement, the Islamabad High Court dismissed the bail plea against the protesters.
During the hearing, Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that after the statement of the Islamabad administration all the requests were made ineffective.
When the matter was heard, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court remarked that 'we do not expect the democratic government to impose an expression on it'.
He remarked that the elected democratic government cannot rely on free expression, (we) should not be afraid of criticism.
Chief Justice Athar Minallah said that the constitutional courts will protect the constitutional rights of the people, it is Pakistan, not India, (here) the constitutional rights of everyone will be protected.
The apex court remarked that if we want to protest, seek permission if there is no permission, the court is here.
During the hearing, Islamabad Advocate General Tariq Mehmood Jehangir said the country had been fighting against terrorism for 20 years and the protesters' 'secret agenda' was a concern.
He said that no one should say anything against the state, and he should also write a written order against the state to speak against and hate speech.
On this, Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that the state or any institution is not so weak that anything can be said by anybody.
He remarked that in 2014, (the current) President Arif Alvi himself challenged Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which his government had challenged, as mentioned above, (hopefully) in order to secure rights.
Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that there is democracy in the country and Parliament should be allowed to decide.
Later, all the petitions were dealt with by the court, after which AWP activist Ammar Rashid wrote in a tweet on social networking site Twitter that the state withdrew the FIR and all charges.
He thanked all those who stood for solidarity and wrote that it was hoped that this would set an example against peaceful protest and freedom of expression in our country.