Punjab Assembly passes resolution to ban ‘objectionable’ concerts

Published: January 24, 2012

Allowing public, private colleges to organise such concerts is ‘against Islamic ethics’, PML-Q MPA says.

LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly has passed a resolution seeking a ban on organising ‘objectionable’ music concerts in private and public academic institutions.

The move comes weeks after three students were killed in a stampede at a concert in Lahore.

The resolution is among eight presented on Tuesday, which has been specified as a private members’ day. Five resolutions were passed, two are pending while one was disposed off.

Seemal Kamran, an MPA from the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid, moved the resolution against concerts. Deputy Speaker Rana Mashhood asked Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan if the treasury members opposed the resolution.

Sanaullah replied in the affirmative, after which Kamran was asked to argue the merits of her resolution.

“Pakistan is an Islamic republic and permitting music concerts to take place in public and private educational institutions is against the morality and ethics of Islamic culture,” Kamran said. “When I was in college, our teachers questioned us over [inane things like] long and coloured nails. These days, institutions have done away with this kind of discipline in the name of ‘moderation’.”

She asked the house which rules allowed such concerts to be organised. “Academic institutions are using these concerts as opportunities to publicise their branches.”

Citing the unfortunate deaths earlier this month, she demanded that the resolution be passed for the sake of a secure future for our children.

After hearing her arguments, Sanaullah said that the government cannot impose a blanket ban on concerts as many of them include national songs etc. Therefore, he suggested, the word ‘objectionable’ be added to the resolution and lent his support if that amendment was made.

The resolution was then unanimously passed after Kamran agreed to Sanaullah’s suggestion.

During the debate on the resolution, the law minister claimed that the media had downplayed the incident where three girls died in a concert organised by a private college, which is owned by the same group that runs a popular nationwide news channel. “If the same incident had occurred in a concert organised by a government college, media would have been severe in its criticism. The media has set a precedent that if someone wants to smoothly run a business, they can conceal misconduct by also running a channel or newspaper on the side.”

Meanwhile, speaking to reporters outside the Punjab Assembly, Pakistan Peoples’ Party’s Deputy Parliamentary Leader Shaukat Mehmood Basra said that the resolution should not have been passed as no one had defined the word ‘objectionable’ or what is in the ‘national interest’.

Meanwhile, Punjab government’s spokesperson Senator Pervaiz Rasheed has ruled out any ban on cultural activities in the province.

“Assembly resolutions are respected and we are aware [of the new resolution],” Rasheed said. “According to them, concerts should be banned because some students lost their lives in a stampede at a concert in the past. But, just like we don’t stop organising Muharram processions despite attacks, we can’t bar anyone from organising concerts.”

Blue passports

The house also passed a resolution seeking a blue passport Gratis for members of provincial assemblies along the lines of those issued to members of the National Assembly and Senate.

The resolution, which was moved by PML-Q’s Samia Amjad on behalf of her party colleague Samina Khawar Hayat, seeks that the federal government issue the passports.

Meanwhile, PML-Q Parliamentary Leader Chaudhry Zahiruddin Khan moved a resolution that recommended that federal government issue funds for SCARP projects in Punjab. Under the project, the federal government has to issue funds for installation of tube wells in areas where water is saline. The house approved this resolution as well.

Two other resolutions were passed. One resolution, moved by PML-Q’s Chaudhry Aamir Sultan Cheema, sought establishment of waiting rooms in all public hospitals. The other, introduced by Humaira Awais Shahid (also from PML-Q), supported the formulation of a comprehensive policy on controlling population.

Pending resolutions

Debate on a resolution, moved PML-Q’s Amna Ulfat and seeking a ban on the screening of Bollywood films, was put on hold as Sanaullah said that after the 18th amendment, the subject was of provincial significance and the Punjab government is working on legislation on the matter.

Another resolution was introduced by Ziaullah Shah, seeking construction of boundary walls around all graveyards and abolishment of black magic and kafan theft, was also pending as many members presented amendments for it. MPA Samia Amjad said that there should be a law sentencing black magicians to death while Shahid said that they should be banned from advertising in newspapers.

The session was adjourned till Wednesday.

House resolutions

A simple resolution is a legislative proposal that addresses matters entirely within the prerogative of one house or the other. It requires neither the approval of the other house nor the signature of the President, and it does not have the force of law. Most simple resolutions concern the rules of one house. They are also used to express the sentiments of a single house.

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Reader Comments (54)

  • Ali
    Jan 24, 2012 - 5:08PM

    what a reply back to 100+ deaths due to fake medicine. “kudos”

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  • muhammad saad khan
    Jan 24, 2012 - 5:16PM

    why is it that islam is put in danger whenever a few youngsters gather to enjoy music and have a good time? why did the punjab assembly have to shove regressive diktats down the throats of everyone?

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  • Iron hand
    Jan 24, 2012 - 5:16PM

    How about a resolution against teaching “objectionable” things in schools?

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  • Mir
    Jan 24, 2012 - 5:26PM

    ban on concerts do they want to introduce zia era again? why punjab is turning against entertainment? they should work on making security better rather.

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  • Usman
    Jan 24, 2012 - 5:31PM

    What an idiotic response, shouldn’t they put in place proper Health and Safety Regulations like every sane working country rather than ban the concerts? Time to get Punjab out of PML-N’s inept rule.

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  • Fool
    Jan 24, 2012 - 5:34PM

    In Pakistan no scarcity for any moral policing.Yet Pakistan is in the top slot in porn search. Really a fools paradise

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  • Salim
    Jan 24, 2012 - 5:34PM

    And you deprive the citizens from breathing in public, as it might be seductive for some! Why don’t we officially declare that we are a province of Saudi Arabia ruled by Saudi King and Saudi Laws??????Recommend

  • Mir
    Jan 24, 2012 - 5:35PM

    i have a suggestion for them first they should ban theatres, film studios, fashion shows, drama studios then they should ban concerts and parties. All the above things are objectionable should be banned and lastly mixing of boys and girls in colleges,schools,food street,malls should be banned also. Ban everything why concert only.

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  • Asad A.
    Jan 24, 2012 - 5:44PM

    We root for democracy & get restrictions on every other thing. Our government has shown the capability of placing bans on the stupidest of things. We’ve seen blunders such as bans on social networking sites, porn sites, objectionable words (which was by far the dumbest thing anyone could have thought of, & the words took a cake home each), & now the banning of musical concerts. It won’t be long before Kabul-like horror stories fill news papers, we will have boys being flogged for wearing shorts to a game of football, & women publicly beaten for showing their hair. One day it’s Maya Khan patrolling public parks for ‘immoral activities’, next day, it’s the high lords in the assemblies banning concerts for being unislamic. We must mend our ways, there is still time. We must protest now & hang on to our right to make our own decisions with dear life before it’s too late. Recommend

  • MAHER ALI
    Jan 24, 2012 - 5:44PM

    Does this also include concerts in political JALSAS…..????Recommend

  • Citizen
    Jan 24, 2012 - 5:45PM

    But concerts are a vital part of MUNs and other conferences. They make up for the majority of social events. Why is the state monitoring me for being unislamic? What if I’m an athiest or an antagonist?

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  • ishaq
    Jan 24, 2012 - 5:50PM

    This Shows Zia-ul-Haq Presence.

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  • Shabnum
    Jan 24, 2012 - 5:52PM

    oh what a farce, please go back to the stone age, paternalism defined

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  • alicia
    Jan 24, 2012 - 5:55PM

    Frankly this is why I dislike PML-N too much poking into peoples private business.
    Not a word said about those boys who started the rumor and led to the stampede. Not even a condemnation or warning.
    They did the same with weddings. You cant have food. Your wedding has to start and end at a special time. you cant overspend etc.

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  • Iqbal
    Jan 24, 2012 - 5:55PM

    Way to go Pakistan

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  • Citizen
    Jan 24, 2012 - 5:57PM

    why don’t they make hijab and niqab compulsory?

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  • Jan 24, 2012 - 6:04PM

    Wonder if they even have a working resolution that’s cracked down, or even banned, militant terrorist organizations. At least ‘objectionable’ militant terrorist organizations….

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  • ambereen
    Jan 24, 2012 - 6:27PM

    What nonsense?Punjab goverment is responsible for 70 murders in hospitals,where people came to buy health not death.They should answer that first.

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  • Azmat
    Jan 24, 2012 - 6:32PM

    “Kamran said. “When I was in college, our teachers questioned us over [inane things like] long and coloured nails.”

    Do as I say, don’t do as I do.

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  • Mard-e-Haq
    Jan 24, 2012 - 6:37PM

    So, blowing up mosques, schools and other educational institutions are probably part of the Islamic ethics that the Punjab government. They can ban concert but concede negotiations to the Taliban, after our soldiers are butchered. What is this world coming to?

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  • Mj
    Jan 24, 2012 - 6:48PM

    What a travesty. This is what happens when we elect semi-literate rural feudals and expect them to understand the intricacies of modern urban living. They way things are going we won’t even need taliban to occupy mainstream Pakistan to impose their regressive and repressive ideology. For shame.

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  • Huma
    Jan 24, 2012 - 6:52PM

    To ban something isn’t a solution…..cz humans have rebellion nature,they usually get frustrated from restrictions n tend to violate cz this kind of act give them a sense of freedom…while this could b a solution….v can hammer on ppl’s mind by media or by promulgation that this kind of entertainment of activities are demoralizing our society,,,,n concerts should be well organized n provided with full Security……:/

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  • Jan 24, 2012 - 7:13PM

    Some days ago,
    a police party raided a house and arrested two girls and four men,
    they were all intoxicated condition.

    girls were brought for concert program.

    In fact, sin and crime crime being committed by them in the name of music concert.
    it must be ban by law.

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  • Falcon
    Jan 24, 2012 - 7:19PM

    One of the stupidest moves by Punjab Govt. Rather than focusing on preventing security failures, they are focused on banning the concerts altogether. What if it was not an entertainment gathering, this tragedy would still have happened because of lapse of security procedures…why not ban all gatherings then???

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  • Omar Haroon
    Jan 24, 2012 - 7:39PM

    At the pace they’re going, pretty soon your face will be against Islamic ethics…
    Seriously though, playing the religion card for all sorts of issues is really becoming a nuisance now. I’m actually curious as to how many people from the Punjab Assembly actually follow the faith they claim to be the protectors of.

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  • Jan 24, 2012 - 7:59PM

    Awww I like it very much… =d

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  • Asma
    Jan 24, 2012 - 8:07PM

    This exemplifies what is exactly wrong with our society. When you ‘prohibit this’ and ‘ban that’ you are creating a frustrated society that seeks outlets through much more extreme ways.
    Also, why not focus on the REAL problem and not the symptoms. Instead of banning ‘gatherings’ why not focus on safety and security measures? The death of the 3 girls, though very tragic, happened due to a stampede which happens when people panic. Unfortunately, in a country like ours, there is cause to panic – why not focus on WHY that is? Stampedes can happen in any gathering – are you going to ban all of them?
    And last but not least – what the heck is ‘Objectionable’?? Who defines it? I am sorry, but my idea of ‘objectionable’ may be entirely different from the next person’s! Passing a resolution with that word leaves it open for interpretation, which can be very dangerous!

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  • Sane
    Jan 24, 2012 - 8:12PM

    Good move !! May Allah bless the ones who lost their lives in the concert

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  • Hamood
    Jan 24, 2012 - 8:15PM

    I think Punjab government should spend its time and efforts on eradicating diseases like dengue virus and 2-number medicines which are killing people everyday than trying to pass useless legislation in the name of morality.

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  • Nomi
    Jan 24, 2012 - 8:27PM

    Good move, Modesty first.

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  • sars
    Jan 24, 2012 - 8:28PM

    ok but lets first ban important things like jalsas(concerts by any other name), blowing yourself up, selling fake medications, hounding people for a nikahnama, wantiing to kill all(insert ethnicity, religion, sect )s, corruption .Then well move on to concerts.
    PS lets ban all movies, songs, schools and walking on the roads for good measure.Recommend

  • Fahad Raza
    Jan 24, 2012 - 8:53PM

    Punjab is goin the right way Man…!!! Thats very nice GreatRecommend

  • Roflcopter
    Jan 24, 2012 - 9:14PM

    nice

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  • Jan 24, 2012 - 9:26PM

    it looks that most of the people commenting here are not aware of Islamic teachings… I agree and with PML-Q MPA Seemal Kamran

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  • Amber lone
    Jan 24, 2012 - 9:27PM

    This is another nail in the already hammered to death coffin of freedom, progress and civilisation which those corrupt elements proclaiming to know what’s best for the people (while siphoning off assets and committing all manner of sins against them). I hope for a future in Pakistan where the mullahs and the politicians are banned by the people so the nation can truly start to develop. Narrow concepts of religion betray the idea of faith itself. Is Islam all about punishment, death and misery? Can the punjabi politician pushing this repressive law understand what the meaning of it is? no. Let’s hope the brave and the young rise up against these autocratic, self- interested elites

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  • Jan 24, 2012 - 9:50PM
  • Sarfraz Khan
    Jan 24, 2012 - 10:38PM

    You can not ban public gatherings. That is akin to emergency law imposed by military dictators. Seemal Kamran has no concept of Islamic law. State does not have authority under Islamic law to ban concerts or public gatherings.

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  • ;-(
    Jan 24, 2012 - 10:39PM

    “Pakistan is an Islamic republic and permitting music concerts to take place in public and private educational institutions is against the morality and ethics of Islamic culture,” Kamran said.

    Oh please! get a life. Don’t drag religion for you political issues.
    Secondly, Music is not against the morality and ethics of Islamic Culture. People who talks here about guardian of Islam does not know the ESSENCE of ISLAM. They just follow the FORM of ISLAM.

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  • Shahid
    Jan 24, 2012 - 10:59PM

    Yaar what the hell is wrong with the Punjab government? Instead of trying to make the security arrangements better, the Punjab government has taken the route of banning concerts! If God forbid, Nawaz League forms government in the center after the next elections they will take us back to the Zia-ul-Haq days! People please wake up! This is NOT acceptable! Wake up! Please go and VOTE in the next elections and please vote for the RIGHT person!

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  • Mir
    Jan 24, 2012 - 11:11PM

    Even peshawar and quetta don’t have bans like this, and thank God Sindh Assembly is safe from legislators like these, but we have maya khan for moral policing in karachi.

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  • Jan 24, 2012 - 11:17PM

    How Imran Khan has responded to this ban, any idea ?

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  • Abbass
    Jan 24, 2012 - 11:30PM

    he is against this ban. IMRAN loves music and is a sane person

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  • Sid
    Jan 24, 2012 - 11:37PM

    First Basant ban and now ban on concerts. Easy way out to ban everything govt cant handle. This govt must go. Who are these people taking us back to the dark ages.

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  • Hassan
    Jan 25, 2012 - 12:20AM

    Its ok to have mujras and prostitution but no music brilliant kudos! Way to go PMLN

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  • Raza
    Jan 25, 2012 - 12:28AM

    This is ridiculous. Just ridiculous. As always, our legislators have nothing better to do than critique entertainment avenues for the people.

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jan 25, 2012 - 1:29AM

    Punjab Government should opt for only one between the two: (1) Punjabi Taliban or (2) Concerts.

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  • Jan 25, 2012 - 10:13AM

    When a stampede occurs in Hajj, you don’t ban Hajj. You find better ways to manage the crowd.

    When a stampede occurs in a concert, it’s because the concerts are immoral, dangerous blah blah..

    Love the way you lie..

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  • Aamir Tariq
    Jan 25, 2012 - 1:59PM

    to me,this resolution carries high weights due to our islamic norms and historical background.A learner should be focsued on studies and he is not bound to get catharsis or breathing space out of his hectic academic routine but it should be in the limits of humanity, morality and civilty.it is high time to determine whether we should follow blindly only in their immoral practises or have a belief in our religious vigour and values to become successful in both worlds. be on a clear ideology,do discriminate west and its abuses to our moral and mental growth or live with a true liberal,progressive nad enlightened individual………….

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  • Fahad Yousaf
    Jan 25, 2012 - 2:27PM

    I am surprised to see the comments by those who are in favour of these concerts at schools and colleges. The government has not banned concerts. It has only banned concerts in schools. There are so many cultural activities which can take place in colleges and schools. Is concert the only thing; the only cultural activity which, if removed, will destroy the freedom and culture. COme on ! you guys will start saying then please make movies in schools and colleges in the name of culture…colleges and schools are for nation building not singers building….this is why our childern are asking for ransom from their own parents because what colleges are supposed to do are not doing.

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  • Concerned
    Jan 25, 2012 - 11:58PM

    This is ridiculous, in the UK, Malaysia, Turkey, Singapore, India, Dubai, Kyrgyzstan and Trinidad and Tobago, if such an incident happens, they will investigate it and usually make health and safety arrangements to ensure such incidents don’t reoccur. Meanwhile, our esteemed politicians completely forego the real reasons for stampedes (inadequate escape routes/poorly trained staff/etc) and use the ‘Islamic’ stamp to ban events!?

    No wonder this country has such a terrible reputation, it’s being run by imbeciles.

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  • Usman Shahid
    Jan 26, 2012 - 12:18AM

    According to most of the comments above, in educational institution ban should be only on education except that everything should be allowed in the name of the freedom :)

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  • Jan 26, 2012 - 2:44AM

    Taliban state here I come!

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  • rubab
    Jan 26, 2012 - 8:11PM

    they should rather make the security better!

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  • Abbas
    Feb 2, 2012 - 9:51PM

    Are’nt we over reacting? Yes we should increase safety measures but then obscenity should not be promoted(parties included)… We need to first ban indian media. the real cause of these concerts and other immoralities

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