THE ‘sit-in’ phenomenon has assumed almost a culture with groups of people blocking the roads and highways for several hours, disrupting the traffic and causing unbearable problems for people at large.

It is suggested that some places be reserved for ‘sit-in’ in every city like the Hyde Park of London where they can vent their anger without disturbing public peace and tranquility.

This requires a law to be framed to prohibit dharnas on thoroughfares that suspends all public activities including students going to schools and patients going to hospitals.

Such restrictions created by dharnas also violate Article 15 of the Constitution that states “Every citizen shall have the right to remain in, and, subject to reasonable restriction imposed by law in public interest, enter and move freely throughout Pakistan and to reside and settle in any part thereof.” As such the government could, in public interest, place reasonable restrictions on the dharnas and processions so that the public interest of ensuring normal life activities on public roads and thoroughfares are not suspended with the spate of dharnas by all and sundry.

The traffic jams of several hours in the wake of dharnas create nightmarish conditions for road users that ought to be prevented in the public interest.

DR Y. BHATTI Lahore

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Comments (4)

Imran Jiwani
March 11, 2013 1:52 pm
I only wish the people doing the dharna can realize it can be their own loved ones, one day, who need emergency services for hospital and the roads could be blocked.
Taqi Ramzan
March 11, 2013 3:01 pm
my brother this is how we pakistanis can make our pleas to be heared ,,,otherwise if u want to fix a particular venue for such activities than God knows these unreasonable politicians will ever pay heed to the demands of poor ,,gullible masses,,,,,
Syed
March 11, 2013 5:30 pm
Dear Dr. Bhatti, Thanks for your concern to make a public service call but please allow me to match this opinion with the one which was uttered by the french princess after seeing a mob around her castle during the french revolution. She was told that the people were starving and they were asking for the bread and the princess said "if they don't have the bread then why they don't eat the cake, instead!?" If the people being butchered and blasted to pieces on a daily basis, sometimes around 100 in a day in UK and the government seems impotent to do anything to stop it then I am sure that the victim's families won't be sitting decently in Hyde Park with placards. We have seen worse protests and riots in London and Birmingham over fairly smaller problems then what is going on in Pakistan. Unfortunately, in our dear country,the only language anyone is ready to listen is the brute force. Once the government and authorities are able to provide protection and safety to the citizens, then we can argue about what is the more decent way for protests.
ghulam abbas
March 12, 2013 2:51 pm
As citizens of this country it is our responsibility to raise our voice against oppression and methods other than sit-ins and peace full demonstrations can result in anarchy. Unfortunately many people sit at their homes and criticize people fighting for their rights peacefully on the streets. If we were responsible nation then the whole country would have been in the sit-ins to supports their brothers and sisters. As far as I have experienced people were allowed to go to hospitals in all the dharnas held in the last few months and it is against all articles of humanity to keep quiet on brutality.
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