LAHORE: The Cabinet Committee on Law and Order has decided that no religious or political group will be allowed to gather or protest on special days such as Hazrat Ali’s martyrdom day, Lailatul Qadr, Jummatul Wida, Youmul Quds and by-elections in Khushab in the wake of intelligence reports that religious processions and gatherings are under threat of terrorist activities.
Chairing a meeting of the cabinet committee at the Civil Secretariat on Friday, Law Minister Basharat Raja directed the district administrations across the province to strictly stop any attempts at protesting or holding sit-ins at any place while reviewing security arrangements for the upcoming martyrdom anniversary of Hazrat Ali, Lailatul Qadr, Jummatul Wida, Youmul Quds and by-elections in Khushab.
The minister said imambargahs, mosques, gatherings and processions should be closely monitored during these special days. He stressed the authorised officers should review security plans at appropriate intervals. Observance of coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs) in religious gatherings and processions should be ensured as much as possible and the district administrations across the province should especially activate peace committees in their respective areas to implement the SOPs effectively, he said.
He appealed to the people to limit religious gatherings as much as possible in view of the alarming situation of Covid. But he said the National Command Operation Centre’s decision on allowing gatherings during the pandemic would be final.
Inspector General of Police Inam Ghani clarified that cases should be registered against violators of government restrictions without any discrimination and if the law and order situation deteriorated anywhere in the province, the local administration would be held responsible.
He said there would be no concession for the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan detainees and they would have to face the law in any case.
Published in Dawn, May 1st, 2021