Ban on rallies: ‘Can a chief minister lead a protest?’

Published: October 28, 2011

Shahbaz said the October 28 rally at Nasir Bagh is a "war to save the country".


An additional advocate general has been asked to submit his arguments regarding whether the chief minister, being chief executive of the province, can lead or participate in a protest rally.

Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed passed the order while hearing two identical petitions seeking a ban on rallies and installation of banners and billboards by PML-N, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and PPP.

During the hearing, the additional advocate general told the court that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was not using state machinery for the party’s rally on October 28 (today). He maintained that PML-N had no plans of using state machinery for political purposes in the future either.

Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, during the hearing, also remarked that no political party – whether the PML-N or PPP – should use government resources for their rallies.

The law officer informed the court that the Parks and Horticulture Authority did not charge any fee for putting up banners or billboards relating to public awareness and welfare. Banners put up by political parties on The Mall fall into that category, the court was told. The officer said that allegations that the PHA favoured the PML-N or any other party were baseless. At this, Justice Saeed sought a written reply from PHA director general and also directed him to produce PHA rules in court.

The judge adjourned hearing of the petitions for two weeks. Petitioners submitted that the rallies were being held in the ongoing week and that the petitions would become ineffective after two weeks. The judge, however, observed that there would be more rallies in future.

One of the petitions was submitted by the Punjab Union of Journalists (PUJ) president Rana Azeem. He has prayed to the court to order the removal of political banners and billboards from The Mall and impose a ban on their rallies in the city.

The second petition, filed by Advocate Abdul Hameed Rana, sought a ban on PML-N’s rally. He contended that government machinery was being used to make the rally a success.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 28th, 2011. 

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Asmat Jamal
    Oct 28, 2011 - 10:35AM

    The man has honestly accepted that he has failed to do any good during his tenure as CM Punjab. 80% of existing problems fall in the realm of provincial governments which includes Law & Order, corruption in departments like police, revenue, mines, irrigation, food, health and day to day municipal services like prices of food items, hygiene and sanitation, anti malaria/dengue control, and a whole lot of other facilities. After the 18th amendment the power sector has also been devolved.Recommend

  • MAD
    Oct 28, 2011 - 10:43AM

    The battle for Punjab is on now. PML(N) will lead off. PTI will follow after two days. For now the PPP shall observe.


  • Billoo Bhaya
    Oct 28, 2011 - 10:47AM

    The Courts should stay out of this. Demonstrations are basic rights in a democracy. The right to make their opinion heard. The judges should be engaged in providing justice to millions of litigants who appear at their doorsteps for relief and are denied by these silly petitions. In the UK if any lawyer filed a petition such as this one, he would be fined with all costs for wasting the court’s time. But in Pakistan they are the reason why time gets wasted in our courts.


  • Safdar
    Oct 28, 2011 - 11:01AM

    Being part of the ruling governments, is the CM protesting against his own bad governance?


  • Usman
    Oct 28, 2011 - 11:10AM

    So what are PML-N protesting against again? They own the Punjab Govt., so they are protesting against themselves? Have they made Punjab into a shining example that the rest of the country can follow? If not, then please tell me what is PML-N protesting against.


  • M Aleem
    Oct 28, 2011 - 11:36AM

    @Billoo Bhaya
    I agree that PML-N has every right to protest against their own corruption, but not at taxpayers money.


  • Oct 28, 2011 - 12:15PM

    After bread comes the circus.


  • Hamza
    Oct 28, 2011 - 12:20PM

    I think PML (N) had complete powers as far as Punjab was concerned. I don’t how they could be any different when the entire nation would be at their disposal. I think if they were capable of doing anything or bringing any significant change, we would have seen this in the past three years or in their previous tenures. Imran Khan is soo getting my vote. May Allah give him the opportunity and keep him steadfast to steer this nation out of its agony. Ameen


    Oct 28, 2011 - 3:10PM

    In Pakistan anything can happen…..Recommend

  • R.A
    Oct 28, 2011 - 4:23PM

    When in Pakistan National Olympics
    there is only one game to play for
    that is rallie , dharnas ,jaloos and protests
    (thanks to dhana and co.which are J.I ,T. I
    and M.L.N etc) then every one can play it
    Let us wait for P P P to show their telent.
    After all we have to give gold medal to one of them

  • Ravian
    Oct 28, 2011 - 6:29PM

    I felt today is “Protest Weekend”.These all politicans are playing dirty political games & creating chaos in in the city.Being part of the ruling governments, is the CM protesting against his own bad governance? Have they made Punjab into a shining example that the rest of the country can follow? If not, then please tell me what is PML-N protesting against.They always used the people for their own purposes.


  • Salim
    Oct 28, 2011 - 6:38PM

    Failed CM Punjab leading a rally to cover up his own misdeeds.


  • Oct 30, 2011 - 10:26PM

    Chief minister speech informed to President 78% peopels of Pakistan dis like very soon
    PML N won this mach with collected parties IN SHAH ALLAHA that govt not obey Law its mean some things hiding behind


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