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ISLAMABAD: The capital administration has retained a ban on a few activities in the city including the operation of unauthorised housing societies, display of firearms, wall chalking, affixing posters, the use of sound systems, gatherings and mountain blasting.

The ban on the gathering of five or more people has been in place for a decade and a half, officials of the capital administration said and that the ban on sound systems, mountain blasting and wall chalking has been in place for the last couple of years.

The ban on these activities was extended the last time on Nov 15, 2018 for two months, which was to expire on Jan 15. The capital administration has extended the ban for two more months.

Officials of the capital administration said the ban was imposed for two months by District Magistrate Hamza Shafqaat under CrPC’s section 144.

The capital administration, police and the Capital Development Authority have been removing encroachments in the city for the last couple of months. The officials said land grabbers, including those who had launched housing societies, are being dealt with strictly and that the ban on launching such societies and conducting other related activities has been banned for two more months.

Ban on these activities was extended the last time on Nov 15 and was to expire Jan 15

“It has been brought to the notice of the district magistrate that some housing societies, trusts, limited companies, groups are operating in Islamabad in [a] manner not warranted by the law relating thereto,” a notification says, and that these elements “allure the public at large” by advertising the launching of housing schemes in newspapers, magazines, brochures and booklets and through local sale.

They invite membership either in excess to the land available to them or without possession of any land at all which results in fraud, law and order problems and massive litigation in courts.

Speculative transactions also emerge out of the situation which jeopardises the interests of the public who are deprived of their hard earned money, the notification says.

Therefore, a two-month ban has been imposed on any sort of publication regarding the launch of any such housing scheme of sale plots, inviting application to deposit membership fee or cost of plots without observing all legal formalities unless prior permission is obtained from the office of the district magistrate.

The distribution of handbills, pamphlets, wall chalking, affixing posters on walls and the use of sound systems has been banned for two more months to maintain peace and law and order in the capital.

This was done as some elements are likely to hurt the feelings of those belonging to various religious sects or segments of society which can affect public peace.

The use of sound systems for making objectionable, sectarian related speeches and sermons has been banned in Islamabad for two months as they can threaten public peace, officials said.

However, loudspeakers, sound systems and amplifiers may be used for Azan and Friday sermons.

The display of firearms and show of force is also banned in the capital as is the sale, purchase and stocking of firecrackers and fireworks.

The extraction of stones in the Margalla Hills via blasting was also banned.

Published in Dawn, January 15th, 2019