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February 18, 2021

Roads won’t be blocked for PSL matches, home dept assures SHC

Karachi

February 18, 2021

University Road and Sir Shah Muhammad Suleman Road will not be blocked during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) cricket tournament matches at the National Stadium, home department and traffic police officials assured the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday.

The assurance came on a petition that was filed against the closure of roads leading to the National Stadium during the Pakistan-South Africa Test series and the upcoming PSL matches.

The home department official, however, said that the law enforcement agencies and the traffic police were making some security arrangements during the arrival and departure of the PSL teams for a limited period of time.

The provincial law officer said that the petition was filed against the closure of roads around the National Stadium during the Pakistan-South Africa series, which was over and so the petition had become infructuous.

The petitioner’s counsel Irfan Aziz said that though the series was over, the PSL tournament will start on February 20, and the police and the home department had again started blocking the roads, causing great inconvenience to the public.

The counsel told the court that the road from the Central Jail Karachi to Nipa and Sir Shah Muhammad Suleman Road heading towards Dalmia have been blocked. The focal person of the home department and the traffic SP gave a clear statement before the court that neither these roads were blocked nor will they be blocked during the PSL tournament.

They said that the law enforcement agencies and the traffic police department will make some security arrangements during the arrival and departure of the PSL teams for a limited period of time.

After taking the assurance of the home department and the traffic police on record, an SHC division bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar disposed of the petition. Petitioner Aziz Fatima, media coordinator of the Pasban Democratic Party, had earlier said that the provincial government had paralysed the traffic of Karachi by cordoning off all the roads leading to the National Stadium from 8am to 8pm between January 26 and January 31, which had been affecting the routine life of the citizens and was thus a violation of their fundamental rights as enshrined in the constitution.

She said that the government functionaries had blocked several access points leading to Sir Shah Muhammad Suleman Road, University Road, Dalmia Road, Aga Khan Road and Karsaz Road illegally and unconstitutionally.

She also said that the police and other law enforcement agencies were not even allowing pedestrians to walk near the stadium, which was against the constitutional provisions, vis-à-vis freedom of movement, while it was also against the principle of natural justice and international rules, as people could not even use the roads even in emergencies.

The petitioner said that the Supreme Court had observed in the dharna case that no roads should be blocked under any circumstances, so the provincial government was violating the orders of the country’s top court.

She requested that the court immediately remove all the containers and other obstructions from the main roads and the service lanes around the National Stadium. She also requested that the court direct the respondents to immediately allow free access to the public as well as the patients of the Aga Khan University Hospital, the Liaquat National Hospital, the National Institute of Blood Diseases and other health facilities in t``he vicinity of the stadium.