Aurat march after successful negotiations between organizers of the Aurat March and the city government, the Lahore High Court on Tuesday approved the Women’s Day event, ordering the former to refrain from any offensive slogans or unlawful activities during the march.
Human rights activists Khawar Mumtaz, Leena Ghani, and Hiba Akbar filed a petition against the Lahore government’s refusal to allow the Aurat-Nasser Bagh march.
In court, Deputy Commissioner Rafia Haider and police officers informed Judge Anwaar Hussain that the permit had been denied due to security concerns raised by the District Intelligence Committee.
The Deputy Commissioner said that the police were already busy due to the security measures for the Pakistan Super League to be held at the Gaddafi Stadium.
LHC facilitates dialogue between the Lahore administration and petitioners
A judge challenged political demonstrations in the city despite government security concerns. He said the police are always ready to act when a political figure appears in court. The Deputy Commissioner said that in the last year of the Aurat March, a state of law and order was established.
A justice official said the march could take place in front of the Lahore Press Club. Judge Hussain found that the administration was responsible for maintaining public order. He also recommended that the march organizers act responsibly and cooperate with the administration.
The judge, noting that such cases would be brought to court every year, ordered the city to sit down with the petitioners and agree on a plan. He resumed questioning at 2:00 p.m. when the two sides came out after a fruitful dialogue.
Deputy Commissioner Haider and organizers told the court the march would begin at 2 pm on March 8 (today) from Nadra’s office in Shimla Hill to the Faletti Hotel. The judge then revoked the contested administrative order, stating that peaceful and lawful activities could not be prohibited.
The judge also ordered the organizers of the Aurat parade that there should be no reprehensible statements, slogans, or illegal actions during the action. Attorney Asad Jamal and LHC Legal Secretary Sabahat Rizvi introduced themselves on behalf of the petitioners.
The Commissioner said that the Deputy Commissioner had rejected the petitioners’ request and banned them and thousands of women from organizing a legal and peaceful Aurat March on International Women’s Day.
He argued that the challenged DC ordinance constituted an arbitrary and colorful exercise of power and a clear violation of the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights of citizens.
He argued that the petitioners’ fundamental right to a legal assembly could only be denied if it interfered with the rights of other citizens.