A few days back I had to visit office of Directorate situated at Empress Road, near Lahore Press Club which is also a gateway to Governor House. The same road two way road is surrounded by private residences, officers and a grid station. This portion of Empress Rd. is public property which is not visible from outside as the same is surrounded by very high concrete wall and the entrance is blocked by a huge gate which is monitored by private security company guards. Theses private guards check and inquire every citizen intend to enter or visit the area, before opening the gate. 

At the entrance gate installed on main public road the private guards inquired purpose of my visit before opening the gate. Upon my inquiry that in what capacity they are asking these questions it transpired that they have been deputed by US Consulate. After the crossing the first hurdle I observed that huge concrete blocks have been placed in the middle of the road up till the boundary wall of the consulate. There are two road blockades one by barrier and the second by an iron gate. The parking place has been covered by the concrete wall and when I tried to park my car on the road the security company’s guard immediately came and said to remove the car and park it off the road. When I parked my car on drive way of some private property the guard again came and said to turn my car as according to him the consulate was direct at sight, which is not permissible as per the orders of the security officer of the consulate this is not permissible. 

Being a citizen of Pakistan I have the right to move freely on Empress Road, which is a public place, any hindrance on a public road by a foreigner for the purpose of his own security is sheer violation of law and precedents recants set by the Apex Courts of the country. The concrete wall, huge iron gates, barrier, blockades in middle of the road, presence of private security company guards and their inquiry about movement is utter violation of the constitutional right of free movement and should be immediately removed for free and hurdle less access. 


Lahore, July 8.