LHC Allows Aurat March on International Women’s Day

Lahore High Court allows Aurat March on Women’s Day after successful negotiations and directives for peaceful conduct

Recently, the Lahore High Court permitted the Aurat March to take place on International Women’s Day, provided that no objectionable slogans or unlawful activities are carried out during the march. As a result of successful negotiations between the event organizers and the city administration, this decision has been made.

Previously, permission had been denied for the Aurat March to march outside Nasser Bagh, which prompted human rights defenders Khawar Mumtaz, Leena Ghani, and Hiba Akbar to petition against the decision. The district intelligence committee’s concerns about security were cited by the Deputy Commissioner and police officials as justification for refusing permission.

The judge raised concerns during the court proceeding about the city’s tolerance of political gatherings despite government security concerns, emphasising that the police were always ready to intervene when political figures appeared before the courts. According to the deputy commissioner, the Aurat March of the previous year resulted in a law and order issue.

The court ordered the city administration to meet with the petitioners and develop an agreed-upon plan, while also advising the organisers to behave responsibly and work with the administration. After reaching an understanding, the hearing was resumed at 2:00 pm, and the judge later overturned the administration’s prior order.

The Aurat March will now start on March 8 at 2 pm from the Nadra office at Shimla Hill to Faletti’s Hotel. The court emphasised that peaceful and legal activities could not be prohibited, but it also gave the organisers instructions to make sure that there are no offensive remarks or slogans or any illegal activity during the march.

The petitioners were represented by attorney Asad Jamal and the secretary of the LHC Bar Association, Sabahat Rizvi. They claimed that the refusal to grant permission was an arbitrary and questionable use of authority that flagrantly violated the Constitution’s guarantees of citizens’ fundamental rights. They claimed that unless it violated the rights of other citizens, the petitioners’ fundamental right to lawful assembly could not be restricted.

The Lahore High Court’s approval of the Aurat March is a significant victory for the event’s organisers and participants as well as for Pakistani women’s rights. It draws attention to the significance of authorised, lawful, and peaceful assembly as well as the defence of citizens’ basic rights.

Written by Imad Khan

Imad Khan has the skills and experience to deliver top-notch content that informs, engages, and inspires. He oftens explores nature in his free time.