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Islamabad protesters issued last warning after defying court orders to disperse

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) took notice on Friday of the non-implementation of its earlier orders directing the dislodging of the protest sit-in at Faizabad Interchange.
Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui directed the authorities to vacate the key route from the protesters by 10am Saturday (tomorrow).
During the court proceedings, Justice Siddiqui remarked that the protesters have not taken the court orders seriously, adding that the district administration has failed to use its powers.”Freedom of expression does not mean that the rights of other citizens are usurped,” he added. In light of the court orders, the district administration has issued a final warning to the protesters to disperse by 10pm tonight, sources informed. Sources said the sit-in will swell today owing to the congregation of people for the Friday prayers. Today, having summoned officials of the capital administration, Justice Siddiqui ordered the police to take the assistance of Frontier Constabulary (FC) and Rangers if needed and clear the site through peaceful or non-peaceful means.The court wanted the action to be taken today but the deputy commissioner asked for time as preparations will take “three to four hours”. He added that the protesters are carrying weapons and predicted their strength to be around 2,000, with an increase witnessed on Fridays.
Justice Siddiqui maintained that the administration failed to play its due role in resolving the crisis and merely watched the spectacle unfold as a ‘cricket spectator’. He said that in the name of freedom of assembly, one cannot usurp the rights of an entire city.
‘Last warning’ Following Friday’s court order, the district administration called a meeting in which it decided to give the protesters a ‘last chance’, according to sources.

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