–Petitioner’s lawyer says ‘various anti-state parties are funding Aurat March with sole purpose of spreading anarchy amongst the masses’
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday issued notices for February 27 to the federal government and others concerned on an application against the Aurat March which is scheduled to be held on March 8, internationally celebrated as Women’s Day.
LHC Chief Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh heard the civil miscellaneous application filed by Munir Ahmed in a pending petition for regulating social media.
Lawyer Azhar Siddique, on behalf of the petitioner, said that “there are various anti-state parties present who are funding this Aurat March with the sole purpose of spreading anarchy amongst the masses”.
The petition also termed the march “against the very norms of Islam” and that its hidden agenda is to spread “anarchy, vulgarity and hatred”.
“During last year’s Aurat March, women were holding placards that had objectionable messages,” said Siddique, adding that “participants would again march with placards displaying various messages that manifest anarchy and vulgarity while his intention is to stop that from happening”.
He submitted that, by openly displaying their aspirations, some people are daring to create an environment that is traditionally, culturally and morally less binding upon them.
He contended that purpose of Women’s Day was simply to recognise women for their achievements and not to cross their limits or criticise and abuse men.
“Aurat March is nothing but an anti-state activity aimed at tarnishing the dignity of women. The main motive of this is to create lawlessness, anarchy and vulgarity in our society,” he said, adding that heavy funds had been collected from anti-state elements.
Warning that ‘the event would be broadcast on social media, if not regulated properly’, the senior lawyer submitted that the federal government had recently approved a set of rules for regulating social media which could now be used to curb ‘such anti-state activities’.
He further argued that Punjab Red Zone (Establishment and Security) Act, 2018 needs to be promulgated not only for Lahore Zone but throughout Punjab so as to regulate protests in the sense that fundamental rights should be safeguarded and protected.
The counsel argued that various representations were forwarded to departments concerned in this regard but no action had been taken yet.
He pleaded with the court to direct the federal government and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to place on record the subordinate law known as Against Online Harm Rules, 2020, besides a mechanism for implementing the same in order to regulate social media so that Aurat March is silenced once and forever.
The court after hearing the arguments issued notices to the respondents for February 27 and sought their replies.