Amir Mir, the Interim Information Minister of Punjab, has assured that the caretaker government will not obstruct Aurat March protesters in the province.
He reassured the event organizers about their concerns.
Last month, the Aurat March organizing committee requested a no objection certificate (NOC) from the district administration to hold a rally on March 8 at Nasser Bagh, Lahore, followed by a march around the perimeter of the park.
However, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Rafia Haider rejected the plea due to the current security situation, threat alerts, and law and order issues. She also cited controversial cards and banners, and the strong opposition of the general public and religious organizations, particularly JI’s (Jamaat-i-Islami) women’s and student wings, who had announced a programme against the Aurat March.
Consequently, Aurat March organizers petitioned the Lahore High Court on Saturday night, claiming that the DC’s order was arbitrary, discriminatory, and ultra vires of various constitutional articles.
Justice Muzammil Akhtar Shabbir will hear the petition on March 6 (Monday). In a statement, Mir announced that the government has chosen to provide security to Aurat March protesters.
“We will provide complete police security to the participants.”
The minister confirmed that the caretaker government will not impede the demonstrators, as “our caretaker government believes in the freedom of all individuals.”
He confirmed that he has addressed all the concerns of the protesters and is hopeful that the Aurat March will be peaceful.
Previously, civil society, political parties, and rights organisations had criticized the deputy commissioner for denying the plea to organize the Aurat March on International Women’s Day.
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan also strongly denounced the Lahore district administration for denying permission to hold a public rally on March 8 to celebrate International Women’s Day.
“It is regrettable that their right to peaceful assembly is routinely challenged by the district administration because ‘controversial’ placards and ‘strong reservations’ from the public and religious organisations ostensibly create law-and-order risks. This is a poor defence.”
The HRCP urged the caretaker Punjab government to protect the right to peaceful assembly of the Aurat March and ensure full security for the participants.