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Islamabad High Court orders police to stop harassing PTI candidates

ISLAMABAD (PEN) : The Islamabad High Court (IHC) issued on Tuesday decisive order to the police, instructing them to cease the harassment of candidates and workers affiliated with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party.

The ruling comes in response to a petition filed by PTI nominees Shoaib Shaheen and Ali Bukhari Advocate, who lamented the lack of a level playing field in the political arena.

During the hearing, Shaheen passionately expressed concerns over alleged police intimidation tactics, including coercing PTI supporters to defect to other parties and threatening reprisals against those involved in organizing party events.

Ali Bukhari Advocate further underscored the challenges faced by PTI campaigners, citing instances of intimidation directed towards polling agents and the hindrance of scheduled election campaigns and rallies.

The Election Commission, represented by its legal counsel, assured the court that all received complaints had been promptly addressed, with orders issued to the Inspector General of Islamabad to investigate the matter thoroughly.

However, when questioned by the Chief Justice, SSP Operations of Islamabad Police claimed that only two out of 112 candidates had lodged complaints, a statement met with skepticism by Chief Justice Farooq, who remarked with a wry smile, “They are the only ones who have complaints?”

In response, SSP Operations maintained that all parties had been provided a level playing field, prompting Chief Justice Aamir Farooq to express incredulity, asking pointedly, “Really?”

Consequently, the Islamabad High Court issued a firm directive to cease the harassment of PTI candidates and workers, emphasizing the paramount importance of upholding public trust in the electoral process.

The court underscored the responsibility of law enforcement to ensure fair and transparent elections, free from intimidation or undue influence.