Sunday, August 14
Banning protests on Mall, an administrative matter
Chief Secretary Punjab Nasir Mehmood Khosa has said imposing ban on public meetings at the Sharah-e-Quaid-e-Azam Lahore is a purely administrative matter, and besides freedom of business activities, the government also has to keep in view the democratic right of the people to hold public meetings, and no such order can be issued which usurps the fundamental rights of the people.
In his statement before the High Court on Friday, Khosa said it was the responsibility of the government to deal with the issues in a proper manner, but it was also essential to create a consensus of opinion for this purpose. “Such orders of the court, which cannot be implemented and those rules of the government which can not be abided, could tarnish the image of these institutions; therefore, there is a need of developing consensus of opinion regarding ban on pubic meetings at Sharah-e-Quaid-e-Azam. Just as the people cannot be stopped from exercising their democratic right, similarly the rights of the business community should also be protected,” he added.
The CS said before strict administrative measures, there was a need to create public awareness and consensus. “The ban will be implemented in phases,” he mentioned.