Punjab govt takes U-turn on Aurat March in Lahore

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LAHORE – The caretaker government in Punjab after refusing to grant permission for the Aurat March rally in the provincial capital, changed its stance and now pledged no obstructions in the controversial rally scheduled for March 8 in accordance with International Women’s Day.

Over the weekend, Lahore’s deputy commissioner Rafia Haider denied the request, citing security threats and controversial banners, prompting strong reactions from organisers and human rights activists.Amid the outrage, a petition was filed in the Lahore High Court against the order of the deputy commissioner (DC), as petitioners called the move a sheer violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution.Punjab interim Information Minister Amir Mir shared a statement to clear the air about the controversy, pledging no obstacles for Aurat March protesters. Mir, a media executive by profession, said the reservations of organisers have been addressed.

He further announced providing security to Aurat March participants, saying the interim government will not become a barrier for the Marchers, maintaining the freedom of all individuals. The information minister hoped the upcoming March to be held in a peaceful manner.On Saturday, political parties, human right organizations including Human Rights Commission, and Amnesty International denounced the district administration for the order.

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