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November 16, 2017

PHC orders phase-wise removal of barricades, checkpoints in Cantonment


November 16, 2017

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday ordered the phase-wise removal of barricades, checkpoints and walls that have blocked entry to roads in the Cantonment and other areas of the provincial capital.

A division bench comprising Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Younas Thaheem issued the directions to authorities of Peshawar Cantonment and local government in a writ petition.

Senior lawyer Muhammad Khursheed Khan had filed the petition. He had sought an order for removal of barricades and walls which were blocking entry to roads in the Cantonment and other areas of Peshawar.

“In the first step, the authorities should start removing barricades from those areas which is less necessary,” the court ordered.

The court directed Senior Superintendent of Police Traffic and SP Security to start implementing the court order so that the citizens get some relief from traffic problems in the city.

During hearing, Cantonment Executive Officer Adil Rafi Siddiqui appeared in the court. He informed the bench that removal of barriers and walls that blocked the entry to roads was not in his jurisdiction. However, he said the he would inform the authorities concerned about the court order.

The bench asked the officer to also inform the authorities about the concerns of the court on the issue.

“The situation is going towards normalcy. We are noticing improvement in law and order situation,” Justice Qaiser Rashid observed.

He remarked that citizens were facing difficulties due to these barricades and on account of blocking of link roads instead of security or facilitation in the name of security.

During the previous hearing, the court had issued notice to the executive officer of the Cantonment Board Peshawar, provincial government and district nazim. They were asked to explain why certain roads were closed in the Peshawar city and the Cantonment.

The court had observed that citizens were being dishonoured unnecessarily by members of the law-enforcement agencies as they had to show their computerised national identity cards 10 times while covering a small distance in the city.

Khursheed Khan, the senior lawyer who filed the petition, argued that the Frontier Corps despite having huge space in the Balahisar Fort had occupied the Nazar Bagh Road by erecting barricades near the fort and created traffic problems in the city.

He said that at a little distance from Balahisar Fort, a wall had been erected on a road towards the Civil Secretariat and Police Lines from the Peshawar Central Prison.

The petitioner pointed out that barricades had also been put up on the nearby road outside the MPAs Hostel and Governor’s House and thus half of the road was closed.

The petitioner said another important road had been closed by erecting a wall close to the Governor’s House, Public Service Commission and Chief Minister’s House while there is strict checking on a link road near the Edwardes College.

The senior lawyer said due to the barricades and walls on roads in the name of so-called security, the people were facing hardships in reaching certain government departments, including the Public Service Commission, while the city was faced with a traffic mess as well.

He said citizens were being humiliated in the name of snap checking. The petitioner said that link roads towards the Mall Road from Qayyum Stadium had been closed by erecting walls.

Khursheed Khan pointed out that almost all link roads leading to Defence Colony had also been closed.

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