Asking for a civilised protest

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Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI) along with some other opposition parties is holding a rally in Lahore on September 3, 2016. They are calling it the Rally for Accountability or Ehtesab rally to press the prime minister and others to yield to their demand and respond as to why their names had been published in the Panama Leaks papers couple of months back.

No doubt, to protest is democratic right of every political and religious party as well as individuals in support of their demands and can stage rallies, hold meetings etc in accordance with the provisions of the laws of the land.

The Punjab Government and local administration has always been accommodating the opposition parties within the purview of the laws, facilitating them to the extent possible and ensuring maintenance of law and order. Needless to mention that the administration of the city where any protest rally by the opposition parties is going to be held has to ensure law and order and that the people at large do not suffer on this account other than the protestors themselves.

It is binding on the organisers of the protest rallies to ensure participants remain legal limits, do not try to take laws in to their hands and create problems for the people who are going and coming to their offices, places of work and elsewhere during the period protest rally is being staged anywhere.

Unfortunately, it has been noticed quite often that the opposition parties come out on the roads and stage protest, traffic on roads is blocked, people not allowed to go to their business place in cars, motor bikes or buses and even on foot as the protestors beat them up not sparing even women passing by.

As stated above, protest is democratic right of every citizen but that has to be within ambit of the laws of the land, the administration and the police have to ensure maintenance of law and order.

Leadership of the opposition parties should realize and also convey to their leaders and workers down the line that they may be protesting against or demanding some facility from the Provincial Government as such but all this be in an orderly and disciplined manner. They come on the roads to put pressure on the authorities concerned but when they cause problems and inconvenience to the people at large, they antagonised them in the process rather than security their support and sympathies for the cause they are out on the roads. It is also the duty of the organisers of protest rallies, besides the administration and the police, to ensure miscreants do not venture in their gatherings and create any ugly situation.

This is earnestly hoped that organisers of September 3 protest rally in Lahore will ensure they do protest in a civilised and disciplined and do not cause any problem for fellow citizens particularly businessmen and traders, please.

Daniyal A. Najmee

Lahore