Lahore DC denies NOC to Aurat March fearing conflict with JI’s procession – Pakistan

LAHORE: Deputy Commissioner (DC) Rafia Haider has rejected permission to organise the Aurat March on the grounds of safety issues, ‘controversial’ playing cards and banners supporting girls’s rights, and the chance of clashes with members of Jamaat-i-Islami’s ‘Haya March’.

Civil society, political events, and rights organisations condemned the deputy commissioner for rejecting the plea to organise Aurat March on Worldwide Girls’s Day on March 8.

The Aurat March organizing committee had requested a no objection certificates (NOC) from the district administration to carry a rally on March 8 at Nasser Bagh, Lahore, adopted by a march across the perimeter of the park.

Nonetheless, DC Haider rejected the plea within the wake of risk alerts from safety companies.

“Following the present safety state of affairs, risk alerts, and regulation and order state of affairs, and in mild of actions like controversial playing cards and banners for consciousness of ladies’s rights and the sturdy reservation of most people and spiritual organizations, particularly JI’s girls’s and scholar wings, who had additionally introduced a program in opposition to the Aurat March,” mentioned a press release issued by the DC.

March physique vows to go forward as per plan on March 8

There’s worry of battle between the 2 teams, subsequently, the NOC is probably not issued for the holding of the Aurat March and Conference at Alhamra Corridor, The Mall, and Aiwan-i-Iqbal, and a rally from the Lahore Press Membership to Charing Cross, and in addition at a rally at Nasser Bagh, on March 8 to keep away from any regulation and order state of affairs or mishap.

The Aurat March organising committee strongly condemned the DC for rejecting their software to carry the occasion. “Girls, khawaja sara group, transgender individuals, gender non-conforming folks, and allies of the Aurat March have the correct to the meeting below Article 16 of the Structure of Pakistan,” they mentioned.

They mentioned that the DC denied the NOC below the strain of the JI’s “Haya March.”

They mentioned the denial to carry Aurat March was in opposition to their constitutional proper, and the DC didn’t take motion in opposition to the group for inciting violence in opposition to them.

They mentioned they have been denied permission to assemble at Nasser Bagh and different avenues, such because the Lahore Press Membership, Alhamra, and The Mall. “We don’t require an NOC to train our constitutional proper to march. There is no such thing as a reputable “public order” rationale to forestall us from assembling, marching and making our voices heard,” reads the assertion.

They added the administration has forgotten that the courts have already upheld their proper to carry Aurat March in 2020. “Lahore and Islamabad excessive courts upheld the march’s constitutional proper to speech and meeting and directed the federal government to grant permission to hold out the march,” the committee mentioned.

They mentioned they’d maintain the march on March 8 and wouldn’t enable anybody to grab their constitutional proper.

The Human Rights Fee of Pakistan additionally strongly condemned the Lahore district administration for rejecting Aurat March organisers permission to carry a public rally marking Worldwide Girls’s Day on March 8.

“It’s regrettable that their proper to peaceable meeting is routinely challenged by the district administration as a result of ‘controversial’ placards and ‘sturdy reservations’ from the general public and spiritual organisations ostensibly create law-and-order dangers. This can be a poor defence.”

The HRCP demanded that the caretaker Punjab authorities uphold the Aurat March’s proper to freedom of peaceable meeting and supply the marchers with full safety.

One of many committee members, Hiba, instructed Daybreak that the DC allowed the JI to carry a rally to have fun their “Haya Day” however refused to allow to carry Aurat March.

She mentioned the administration was rejecting their plea discriminatory. “We’ll method the courtroom to get permission because the march organizers bought permission to carry a march previously too,” she mentioned.

Printed in Daybreak, March 4th, 2023

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