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Plan to turn Nishtar Park into Hyde Park
10-20-2011, 02:06 PM
Post: #1
Plan to turn Nishtar Park into Hyde Park
In a move to relieve the citizens of the discomfort they have to face due to protests in the middle of the city, the Sindh government is considering passing a bill in the provincial assembly to ban rallies anywhere else except Nishtar Park.

Following the model of London’s Hyde Park, the government believes that the move will ease traffic flow and discourage violence in the city, The News has learnt.

The provincial government is also contemplating to introduce legislation against shutter-down and wheel-jam strikes by political parties. It may also approach the federal government to “activate” an act of 1991 to initiate a deweaponisation campaign in Sindh.

These proposals came under deliberations at a recent meeting chaired by Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah at the CM House to implement the Supreme Court verdict in the suo moto case on Karachi violence, a source privy to this development told The News.

The meeting, which was attended by top law and police officials, supported these proposals. However, the provincial chief executive proposed that consensus of political parties, especially the coalition partners, must be taken on certain issues, the source said.

The bill to ban shutter-down and wheel-jam strikes is being prepared. “Such political activities can’t be allowed which may cause the death of innocent people and riots,” the source said. The bill would contain a provision that the top leader of the party would be taken to task for stirring violence during a strike call. “They will be tried in an anti-terrorism court,” the source added.

The bill would also ensure that rallies and other political gatherings be restricted to Nishtar Park instead of the middle of the city to seek media attention. The source said that on the pattern of Hyde Park, India had also restricted rallies in a park in Delhi city.

The source said that the participants of the meeting also exchanged views about deweaponisation in the Sindh province to implement the superior judiciary’s directions. It was pointed out in the meeting that the recovery of illicit weapons act of 1991 should be revived to ensure a successful deweaponisation drive.

The source said that this law still existed but it remained “unimplemented”. It was proposed in the meeting that the Sindh government should approach the Centre to make the law “active”. The law provides severe punishment for possessing illicit arms. Under it, suspects cannot get bail easily. Under the current law, possession of illegal arms is a bailable offence.

The source said that under the 1991 act, no individual could get licence for more than one weapon, adding that the act could be invoked to cancel undetermined number of arms licenses issued to people without proper verification in the recent past.

The people can deposit their illegal weapons at concerned police stations under the law which can be activated by the federal government through a notification, the source said. “It may apply for Sindh only if other provinces do not support it.

However, the meeting was informed that certain parties were not in favour of the 1991 Act for Sindh’s deweaponisation. Therefore, it was suggested that the PPP would consult other parties, especially the coalition partners, to evolve consensus over the decision.
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