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Islamabad HC dismisses plea seeking ban on Sharifs’ speeches

Islamabad

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has dismissed a plea seeking a ban on airing speeches of former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif on television channels and social media platforms.

On Monday, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah rejected the petition and declared it non-maintainable after the petitioner, Aamir Aziz Ansari, and his counsel failed to satisfy the court’s queries pertaining to the jurisdiction and how the speeches violated fundamental rights, reports The Express Tribune.

“The tendency of invoking the constitutional jurisdiction of a high court in matters involving political content is certainly not in public interest and that too when the law provides for alternate remedies,” the written order said.

“The security of Pakistan is not frail nor can be threatened by mere political rhetoric.”

In the petition, Aziz had said that the convicted former premier during his recent speeches, especially the one delivered via video link during the all parties conference on September 20, had maligned the state institutions and a “convict’s speech cannot be allowed to be broadcast on media”.

He added in the plea that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo was also a convicted criminal and he cannot speak to the media.

On September 22, Pemra banned broadcast and rebroadcast of any speech, interview or public address of absconders or proclaimed offenders.

The decision came at a time when the former Prime Minister, who left for London late last year after securing bail for medical treatment, has been targeting the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government as well as many state institutions, including the judiciary and the military.

 

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