Punjab lifts ban on public gathering imposed in city


The Punjab government on Thursday lifted a ban on public gatherings imposed in the provincial capital under Section 144. A notification to this effect was also issued by the Punjab Home Department. The interim government in Punjab had imposed Section 144 in the provincial capital for 7 days and had banned major events in order to avoid any untoward incident. “In the context of the prevailing overall security situation in the wake of the recent wave of terrorism and latest threat alerts, it has been necessary to impose Section 144 of Cr.P.C, 1898 on holding of all kinds of assemblies, gatherings, sits-in, rallies, processions, demonstrations, jalsas, dharnas, protests and such like other activities across the district Lahore to avert any untoward incident,” the notification added issued by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Shakeel Ahmed.

The move had been challenged by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader and former federal minister Hammad Azhar in LHC. The plea submitted by Sikandar Zulqarnain advocate stated that the additional chief secretary could not slap section 144 in the city, it is the prerogative of the Lahore deputy commissioner. Terming the imposition of section 144 as ‘illegal’ by the additional chief secretary, the LHC pleaded to nullify the orders. At the outset of the hearing on Thursday, Punjab’s top law officer informed the court Section 144 had been lifted which was imposed due to security threats. “Yesterday was a sensitive day, so the implementation of Section 144 was the right step.” At this, LHC disposed of PTI leader Hammad Azhar’s petition.