Imran at a hospital after he was injured by a gunman. Image Credit: AP file

ISLAMABAD: Citing serious threats to the life of the former Prime Minister and Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan, a petition has been filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking directions for the district administration of Islamabad to allow the helicopter-landing of Imran Khan on the day of long march — November 26 Saturday at the Parade Ground.

The petition also sought permission for a public gathering in the federal capital and a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for the rally to pass through Islamabad’s streets.

Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Amir Farooq, however, termed the petition as ‘premature’ and asked the former ruling party to approach the district administration for the NOC.

Filed by the PTI’s Divisional President of Islamabad Malik Sajid, the petition said the PTI had on Nov 20 submitted an application to get permission for the sit-in which was not granted as of yet.

The petition thus requested the court to issue directions to the district administration for the NOC for the helicopter landing, the rally and the sit-in.

District government’s prerogative

The IHC chief justice, however, observed that granting permission for processions or sit-ins fell in the domain of the district administration and the high court could neither direct them to issue NOC nor order them to allow landing or taking off of the PTI chief’s helicopter.

Justice Amir Farooq was of the view that the high court could not provide helipad services since it was the domain of the district administration.

He said that according to law, the district administration had the power to grant permission for public processions or assembly of people. “The court cannot issue such a direction,” the IHC chief justice observed.

The court adjourned further hearing without even issuing notices to the respondents. Meanwhile, the district administration has not made any decision on the PTI application seeking permission and the matter is still pending with them.

Secretary General of the PTI Asad Umar in a tweet said on Thursday that in order to provide Imran Khan foolproof security, it was of paramount importance that he should come to the Parade Ground by helicopter and leave by the same means of transport.

“The Islamabad administration is using delaying tactics to decide on our application and in this regard we expect from the IHC to give a decision at the earliest,” he further said.