Redefining civil liberties? : ‘New Year eve ruined amid bans, gridlocks’

Redefining civil liberties? : ‘New Year eve ruined amid bans, gridlocks’

KARACHI: The looming threat of terrorism dampened the spirits of citizens on New Year eve as pillion riding was banned and routes leading to Sea View - traditional celebration haunt - were sealed.
Major traffic jams were witnessed across the metropolis despite a shutdown of fuel stations.
A large number of youth were playing with fireworks on the streets and roads, cheering slogans 'Pakistan Zinabad and Happy New Year', while dancing and making merry.
People across the city held various ceremonies to mark the arrival of New Year with a hope that it will bring more cheers compared to the previous year, 2013.
In the evening, Sindh government wished New Year to citizens by imposing a one-day ban on pillion ridding on motorcycles and scooters.
According to an official government handout, the ban will continue until Thursday, January 3, 2014. 
Ban on pillion ridding has been observed for the second consecutive New Year eve in Karachi due to the security concerns as per relevant authorities. 
However, citizens seem unhappy due to the decision.
Talking to Daily Times, Usama Mubarak said, "Present provincial government throughout its last tenure and ongoing term has not succeeded in controlling terrorism or deteriorating law and order situation. And by resorting to tactics such as banning pillion riding, shutting down cell phone services and strikes on important occasions has merely teased the general populace."
Mubarak said that by banning pillion ridding, government spoilt New Year eve for thousands of people, who were now forced to spend 2014 at home.
Day before New Year night, law enforcement agencies also took part in spoiling new year plans by announcing traffic arrangements for the eve, that resulted in getting people stuck in massive traffic jams on different arteries.
Citizens were also not allowed to visit Sea View because law enforcement agencies sealed all routes leading to the said place. 
Sea View is one of the most visited places in the metropolis on all occasions, as it is the cheapest and convenient for people belonging to all classes and backgrounds.
In this regard, Danish Ali stated that he used to visit Sea View with family on every occasion but this time he along with his family would stay at home.
"Concerned authorities must answer why they closed traffic routes leading to Sea View?" he asked angrily. If security is the reason, authorities should have sealed all routes leading to any place where public had the chances of enjoyment, Ali said.
Imran Shiekh said that so-called traffic arrangement of authorities put public in massive traffic jams. Departments and law enforcement agencies were providing security to only some people, who were sitting in government, he said. Sheikh further asserted, "Government does not have any concern with the nation, as high-ups put people in problems for their own security rather than providing security and ease to people."
Day before, Sindh Government announced to hold strict security measures on said eve and said that stern action will be taken against people using arms on eve. However, some people were also found resorting to aerial firing, reckless motorcycle riding and other unlawful acts, while no police personnel were present to stop or nab them.
Nonetheless, people remain hopefully and welcomed 2014 with great enthusiasm, wishing this New Year would bring happiness and betterment on the whole.

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