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Newspost

December 7, 2017

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Nightmares of dharna politics

Nightmares of dharna politics

The Lahore High Court (LHC) has ordered the Punjab government to publish Justice Naqvi’s report on the Model Town tragedy. The use of proportionate force to restore order, arrest criminals and clear public roads of irregular check posts and barricades is a constitutional obligation of all law-enforcement agencies. Although the right to protest is a democratic right, it cannot be exercised while depriving other citizens of their basic fundamental rights. The SC has also declared the agreement about the Faizabad protest to be unconstitutional. This country has suffered enough and it is time to decide that the right to form political parties, organise protests, contest elections or hold any public office vests only with those citizens of Pakistan who have not pledged loyalty to any other country. The right to decide the country’s fate should never be given to those who do not live here or do not pay any taxes. Can Dr Qadri or Altaf Hussain put up barricades blocking public roads outside their house in Toronto or London? No, because it is unlawful.
The judicial report about the Model Town massacre, the May 12 mayhem in Karachi, the Baldia carnage, the irregularity of handing over citizens of Pakistan in return for bounty by Musharraf or the disproportionate use of force against Nawab Bugti and all other such excesses must be published. Those found guilty must be punished so that the writ of law and the supremacy of the constitution is restored. The dharna politics – a remnant of Mahatma Gandhi’s civil disobedience against the British Raj – must cease forthwith and be replaced with peaceful protests within confines of constitutional limits without infringing on rights of other law abiding citizens. No religious group or political party should have a right to form armed militants under their umbrella, nor use force or threats of intimidation to enforce their political opinions on others.
Ali Malik Tariq
Lahore

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