The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the PTI to hold its Azadi March rally in the H-9 area and restrained the government from arresting its leaders and workers in connection with the march. The court instructed the authorities to not make ‘unnecessary use of force’ and not raid the homes and offices of or arrest other PTI leaders and workers. It also ordered immediate release of detained lawyers as well as those arrested under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance 1960. Furthermore, it ordered that the automobiles confiscated within the last 48 hours be returned to their owners. A three-member bench, headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan, and comprising Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Sayyed Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi, issued the orders after hearing a petition filed by Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA) President Mohammad Shoaib Shaheen a day earlier, seeking the removal of blockades in the capital ahead of the PTI’s march. “While playing the role of the arbitrator, we pass the order that no raids should be conducted on the homes of PTI workers,” the Supreme Court said. “The lawyers on whom there are not serious charges should also be immediately released.” The SC bench, in its order, said it hoped that the top PTI leadership would also tell the party supporters to not take the law into their own hands. The SC issued the orders after the PTI assured that its workers would not cause damage to public and private properties. While the court allowed the protest to continue on Srinagar Highway, it also said that “the flow of traffic must not be affected, the citizens must not be bothered, and the protestors should remain peaceful.” Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf opposed the court’s decision to allow the PTI to hold its protest in the designated area. “[Their] request to hold the protest in G-9 area has already been rejected.” The attorney general said the “PTI workers will be in hundreds of thousands,” adding that “[the site] where the JUI-F held its rally had the capacity of only 15,000.” At this, PTI counsel Awan quipped: “I am grateful [to you] for acknowledging that the number will be in hundreds of thousands.” Meanwhile, Islamabad Chief Commissioner Amer Ali Ahmed assured the court that its orders will be followed. The attorney general informed the court that an eight-member committee comprising four members each from the PTI and the government has been formed. Awan, Faisal Chaudhry, Amir Kiyani and Ali Nawaz will be representing the PTI on the committee, whereas the government has nominated Yousuf Raza Gilani, Ahsan Iqbal, Ayaz Sadiq and Azam Nazeer Tarar. The apex court ordered the committee to hold a meeting and adjourned the hearing till Thursday (today).