LAHORE - The All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran, while greeting the new Lahore High Court chief justice Mansoor Ali Shah, has asked him to take the notice of protests on The Mall despite ban by the government. “The true implementation of ban on protests and rallies on The Mall has become the test case for the honourable court, as the provincial government has totally failed to execute this decision,” said APAT central general secretary Naeem Mir.

He said that the Punjab government, on the directives of the then Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry, had imposed ban on all kinds of rallies or processions on The Mall with effect from July 1, 2011.

The CJ had passed the verdict on a writ petition filed by the Mall Road Traders’ Association seeking direction against protest demonstrations on The Mall. Naeem Mir said that due to protests traders had been facing losses worth millions of rupees.

He said different political, religious and other parties held protests on a daily basis especially on Fridays. He said the traffic police used to block all adjoining roads whenever a rally or protest was held which was a huge obstacle for people coming to The Mall for shopping and business.

Naeem Mir prayed to the new CJ to get the order of the LHC implemented against holding of protest and rallies on the Mall.

He said that one of the most disturbing issues concerning public administration and safety was the protests that affected business activities and traffic. He said that a number of protests were held during Punjab Assembly sessions that created problems for commuters and businesses.

“The road has several colleges, universities, government offices and courts. Blocking this road means affecting a lot of traffic.”

He said that Nasser Bagh and Minto Park were proposed for the purpose but no one goes there. He said any group of people, mostly for their personal interests, can disrupt the traffic flow on these roads and cause inconvenience to others whenever it wants. Naeem Mir said that the traders had been long seeking a ban on all sorts of protest camps on The Mall. He said that businesses had greatly suffered due to these protests as their customers now preferred to visit other markets.