Freedom Of Assembly.


Tolerating polar opposite ideologies and practising different politics are only possible in a true democracy. Ironically, the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) does not know this. The party's understanding of real democracy is hypocritical. When in opposition, the PTI lambasted the previous governments for creating hurdles for opposition parties' protests. Now that PTI is in power, its practices are no more different than those of the parties it once vehemently criticised. Nevertheless, the Lahore High Court (LHC) setting aside the government's ban on Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) to hold a rally at Liaqat Bagh is welcome. The constitution grants PPP the right to assemble. And the party reserves every right to hold a rally at Liaqat Bagh to mark the death anniversary of the former prime minister (PM) Benazir Bhutto.

What the court did was the right thing to do; what the government had done before was wrong and suggestive of sidelining the opposition voices. The district administration while refusing the PPP permission to hold a rally to mark the Benazir's anniversary probably forgot that it was people's constitutional right to enjoy the freedom of assembly. Denying political parties and people the freedom of assembly citing security reasons is not a very convincing reason. It is, in fact, the other way around. People practice their right to assemble, and the state ensures...

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