KARACHI, October 22 (Internews):
Authorities in Pakistan's largest city
have agreed to a proposal to designate 17 parks in Karachi where the
public can vent their pent-up political feelings.
If implemented, Karachi will be the first city in South Asia with such a
The Sindh Home Department has agreed to the proposal by the elected City
Government to allow the people to publicly exercise their right to
freedom of expression at places akin to the Hyde Park in London.
For this purpose, the City Government has earmarked 17 places for public
gatherings where various political, social, cultural and religious
organisations will be allowed to hold public meetings or gatherings.
According to city government sources, these places have been earmarked
officially for public meetings and gatherings for the first time in
order to promote a healthy political culture and for building an
"This decision has been taken keeping in view the fact that if people
are not allowed the freedom of expression, this may lead to adoption of
negative attitudes which, besides creation of law and order problem,
disrupts the city life, because at present gatherings and processions
are organised on roads and streets," one official said.
The policy of allocating public space to protesters and other political
social gatherings is in vogue in most European countries where those
expressing anger at government policies or opposing any idea can stage
The places earmarked for the purpose are: Jehangir Park (Saddar), Kakri
Ground (Lyari), Urdu Science College Ground (Gulshan), China Ground and
Kashmir Ground (Jamshed), Block No 1 (Shah Faisal), RCD
Ground near Masjid Rashdia (Malir),
Korangi Stadium, Muzaffarabad Stadium (Landhi), Baloch
Ground (Keamari), Mauripur Village, Football Ground near Ali Bhai
School (SITE), Baldia Ground near Union Council Baldia,
Ground behind Bhyo Hospital (Orangi), RIG
Ground (Gulberg), Annu Bhai Park (Liaquatabad),
Jesco Ground (N Nazimabad), New Karachi Ground (Gadap) and
Gulzar-e-Hijri Ground (Sohrab Goth). -Internews