Iqbal Day falls on Nov 9th every year. It is a day where Pakistanis from all walks of life pay their respects to Allama Muhammad Iqbal, the legendary poet and scholar who dreamt of a separate nation for Muslims.
Since his birth anniversary falls on 9th November, Iqbal Day used to be a public holiday, until the last 2 years that is. Its status as a holiday was revoked by the interior ministry.
The interior ministry decided last year to pass on the power of declaring a public holiday to provincial governments. This move continues to cause confusion as people don’t know if a historical date or event that previously used to be classified as a holiday is off or not.
Last year, Sindh government decided to close schools across the province on account of Iqbal Day, with the KPK government soon following suit.
Move to Reinstate Iqbal Day as Holiday Filed in LHC
Today a petitioner approached the Lahore High Court over reinstating Iqbal Day as a public holiday.
The petitioner wants hearings on this matter to be held at the earliest since Nov 9th is near.
According to the petition, the federal and provincial governments have been nominated as respondents in the matter. The petitioner wants them to ensure that the status of Iqbal Day as a public holiday is settled for once and for all.
It still remains to be seen whether the federal government will take back its order to observe Iqbal Day as another normal working day or not.
However, the final authority rests with provincial authorities over this matter currently.