9th-10th Muharram security in metropolis
SHC allows ban on bike riding in sensitive areas
By Asghar Azad
KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday allowed the Sindh government to impose a ban on motorbike riding on 9th and 10th of Muharram-ul-Haram in sensitive areas of the metropolis.
A division bench of SHC headed by Chief Justice Mushir Alam was hearing a review petition filed by the Sindh government through its Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Sindh Home Department Wasim Ahmad and Additional Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Karachi Iqbal Mehmood.
Chief Justice SHC observed that if it was a necessity to impose the ban on motorbike riding due to terrorist activities and threats during Ashura, then the government might impose it in such localities, including Ashura procession routes or the places where main Majilas programmes were scheduled.
While rejecting plea of 10-day motorcycle ban in the city, the division bench in its order said the ban could not be imposed on bike riding in working days as it was a source of transportation for hundreds of thousands of citizens.
Alam further said the relevant authorities should adopt better security measures as it was their responsibility to maintain law and order. “The government cannot impose a complete ban on motorbike riding as the activities on motorcycles and parking within the surrounding areas of Imambargahs and Majilas can be controlled”, Chief Justice said.
ACS (Home Department) Wasim Ahmed, AAG Sindh Adnan Karim Memon and other relevant officials were present during the hearing.
Talking to media, AAG Adnan Karim Memon said as per court orders, the ban on motorcycle riding could be imposed in sensitive areas, while children, elderly people, women and journalists would be exempted from the ban.”
Interior Minister Rehman Malik on November 17 had announced imposing a ban on motorcycle riding on the 1st Muharram in Karachi and Quetta, citing terrorism threats.
Hours after the announcement by Malik, the SHC suspended the ban on bike riding as the Chief Justice declared such order unlawful.
The orders were suspended on a petition filed by representatives of SHC Bar Association on the occasion of annual dinner programme of SHCBA on November 17.
The Sindh government had later filed a petition in SHC seeking review of an order given by SHC against ban on bike riding in Karachi during Ashura.