Rawalpindi-Open violation of the Punjab government’s one-dish policy in marriage ceremonies is going on in the district while the district administration is acting as a silent spectator. The Punjab government, under the rule of former Chief Minister Mian Shehbaz Sharif, had imposed a strict ban on serving more than one dish in marriages and city district government/administration is bound to check the marriage halls as well as the marriage ceremonies being held in the city at hotels/motels and other places to enforce this law.  However, in reality many citizens with alleged connivance of the marriage halls’ management and corrupt officers of district government have been violating the rule. Unfortunately, the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Rawalpindi and his brigade of Assistant Commissioners (ACs) and other officials have totally failed in stopping the daring violation of one dish in the district.

According to a survey, conducted by The Nation, the owners of almost all the marriage halls and hotels are allegedly involved in the violation of one-dish policy at marriage ceremonies being held across the district while the district government has turned a blind-eye towards the open and daring violation. It was also witnessed that in many cases more than one dish of food was being served to guests in marriage halls/hotels but in the name of salad or snacks. Similarly, serving BBQ, chicken roast, fish, kebabs, roasted partridges, different types of salad, juices, different types of sweet dishes were being served other than one dish that too in the name of starters. Many marriage halls/marquees are situated far away from city in a bid to hide such violations from the eyes of the district administration.

Similarly, late-night weddings are also taking place along with the use of fireworks and aerial firing with sophisticated weapons and no action is being taken on part of the police anywhere. Talking to The Nation on Monday, Sabir Khan, a resident of Lalkurti, said it has become very difficult for poor and middle class families to hold a marriage ceremony for their siblings all the guests now expect more than one dish which increases the expenses drastically. “Parents simply want to maintain their social status by welcoming and serving the guests with better food,” he said adding that former CM Punjab did well by imposing the ban on more than one dishes in marriage ceremonies. He said the poor and middle class families had also welcomed the ban imposed by Punjab government. But now, once again the violation of one dish rule continues, he lamented. The government should check the marriage ceremonies for one dish violations, said Umer Khan, a resident of Chakri Road.

“The Prime Minister Imran Khan has made tall claims about the welfare of poor and needy people before coming into power but none of them had been materialized,” said Aqsa Bibi, the mother a girl whose marriage is going to take place in the second week of December. She said she was satisfied with the ban on serving more than one dish in marriage ceremonies but nowadays the ban was being violated openly. “My husband is dead and I barely saved money for the marriage of my daughter. How can I afford the expenditure of Rs 200,000 just for the food for the Barat?” she said.  

 Many other families have requested the Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar to take action against the district administration for not implementing the one dish rule in the district. DC Rawalpindi Dr Umer Jahangir, however, when contacted said, “We are starting this campaign immediately.”