PTI leader and former information minister Fawad Chaudhry on Monday filed an application with the Islamabad Supreme Court (IHC), demanding that cases be registered against the party’s leadership under the country’s blasphemous laws to be declared “illegal”.
The cases were registered after some Pakistani pilgrims slammed the slogan of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his delegation during their visit to Masjid-i-Nabwi last week.
While PTI leaders said the incident was an automatic reaction and expressed public outrage, the government said it was orchestrated by PTI leaders.
Assistant registrar of the high court, Asad Khan, confirmed that a petition had been received. The PTI legal team, Attorney Faisal Fareed and Attorney Ali Bukhari, filed a petition on behalf of Fawad.
The Federation of Pakistan through its secretary of state, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, director general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and police chiefs of Islamabad, Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan have responded to the situation.
In the petition, Fawad said the newly appointed interior minister was targeting PTI leadership and openly threatened them with dire consequences.
He said through “reliable sources” he had discovered that the current government had decided to teach him a lesson not to mention himself and other PTI leaders.
Fawad alleges that Sana had ordered that he and another PTI leader be identified / filed in a criminal case registered in various parts of the country. The petition noted that one FIR was registered in Faisalabad while applications were lodged in Burewala and Islamabad.
It noted that when a tragic event took place in Masjid-i-Nabwi, PTI was celebrating the 27th of Ramazan at an event organized at the home of Chairman Imran Khan which was shown live across the country.
“Applicant, like millions of others[s], find out about this event on social media pages. So, unfortunately, the ruling party (allegedly determined to fix the complainant and his party leaders, including former prime minister, Imran Khan) with malicious intent, launched a campaign of defamation against them. an attempt to balance political points […]. ”
Fawad says the government is not surprised by the PTI declaration of a long strike and, “working in a credible manner”, falsely accused former Minister Imran, former interior minister Sheikh Rashid, former NA deputy spokesman Qasim Suri, PTI leader Shahbaz Gill. and others.
The petition urged the court to order the defendants to “immediately stop the unlawful and illegal harassment of the plaintiff and his associates. […] in the interest of justice equality and fair play.
It also called for all FIRs registered against PTI leaders in various parts of the country to record.
In addition, it summoned the court to inform Fawad of the reasons and motives for registering criminal cases against the PTI leadership “to ensure his fundamental right to consult and to be protected by a lawyer”.
The petition urged the court to strictly comply with the Supreme Court ruling in the 2018 “Sughran Bibi vs the state” case in which the high court ruled that there must be a single Fire Crime or incident.
The petition urged the court to treat the FIA and police action as “illegal, illegal and unconstitutional”.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah took up the appeal after the court issued a circular hearing for urgent cases during the Eid holidays and issued notices to the defendants. The trial was adjourned until 10:30 on May 9.
The IHC CJ has directed that it send copies of the order to the respondents and to the secretary of the National Assembly. Justice Minallah ordered the interior secretary and respondents to ensure that Fawad was not abused and that no action was taken against him until May 9.
He noted that the matter would be brought to the attention of NA Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf, who is expected to ensure that the freedom of NA members “is not curtailed by the respondents without his or her consent or harassed in any way as a result of the incident. occurring in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia “.
IHC prevents authorities from arresting Shahbaz Gill
In contrast, the IHC barred the authorities from arresting Gill on his return to Pakistan. The court issued the order while hearing a petition filed by a politician seeking protective bail in the same case.
The complaint alleged that Gill had been falsely involved in several FIRs “abuse, oppression, criticism and humiliation”. The petition also stated that Gill was ready to appear in court to prove his innocence but was prevented from doing so as the current government was determined to arrest him by any means.
When the IHC CJ took up the complaint, Gill’s attorney Faisal Chaudhry told the court that his client was in the US at the time of the incident. When Justice Minallah asked where Gill was, Chaudhry replied that the PTI leader had gone to the US on April 28 and would return on May 4.
The lawyer informed the court that 11 different cases had been registered against Gill and others in several cities, including Faisalabad, Attock, Jhelum, Burewala, Karachi, Jhang and Islamabad.
“[The petitioners] they are looking for political revenge, ”he said.
The trial was adjourned until 10:30 a.m. on May 6 (Friday).
Police receive 2-day remand from Sheikh Rashid Shafiq
Meanwhile, Attock police received a two-day detention by Sheikh Rashid Shafiq, who was arrested in connection with the case on Sunday.
Police have produced MNA, a nephew of the Awami Muslim League (AML) and former interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, in front of a magistrate on duty until his arrest.
FIRE against Shafiq and other PTI leaders was filed at the New Police Station at the complaint of Advocate Qazi Tariq.
After that, a representative was arrested at Islamabad International (IIA) airport as he was arriving from Saudi Arabia on Sunday.
Later, he was detained at the new Airport police station for a day on suspicion of posting a video on social media where he was seen encouraging people who were singing anti-Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his party inside the Masjid-i- Nabwi buildings.
Shafiq was detained by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) after he arrived at the IIA on a private plane from Jeddah. He was arrested by the FIA at 5:45 am and was handed over to police.
Imran, PTI leaders booked
On Sunday, Faisalabad police filed a lawsuit under “insulting laws” against the PTI chairman and more than 150 others, including party veterans, following the Masjid-i-Nabwi incident.
The FIR is registered under the following sections of the Pakistan Penal Code: 295 (harming or defiling a place of worship for the purpose of defaming a religion), 295-A disruptive religious meeting) and 109 (abetment).
Plaintiff Muhammad Naeem, a resident of Faisalabad, has appointed senior PTI leaders and Imran’s closest allies, including Chaudhry, Gill, Suri, Sahibzada Jahangir, Aneel Musarrat and Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and his nephew Sheikh Rashid Shafiq.
The plaintiff accuses the Masjid-i-Nabwi section of being a “planned and deliberate conspiracy” and supports his claims by referring to videos and statements made by certain PTI leaders.
Naeem went on to say that the suspects had violated verses of the Quran by raising political voices and using profanity in shrines where pilgrims were praying.
He said most of the suspects were members of a political party (PTI), as seen in video reports from the official Twitter accounts of PTI leaders and staff “before and after” the tragic incident.
Many PTI leaders have acknowledged or supported the incident even though hundreds of thousands of people from the Muslim community have strongly criticized it around the world, he said.
He further mentioned the name of Shafiq who was in Masjid at the time and “confessed his crimes” in his video report.
However, the registration of the complaint under the country’s blasphemous laws has been widely criticized by politicians and journalists, with some calling it a political coup.
Lawyer and human rights activist Jibran Nasir said the police “could not register the FIR under 295-A in a citizen complaint, instead, they wanted a complaint against a government order in terms of Section 196 of the Criminal Procedure Code”.
According to him, the FIR against Imran was flawed or included in government orders.
“The use of defamatory allegations to justify political articles is unacceptable. Politics should be based on differences of opinion rather than exploit religion. This will give more fodder to extremists,” he said in a tweet.
Economist Uzair Younus called the accusation of Imran “disgusting and disgusting”, saying “critical law abuses continue in the country.
Pilgrims say slogans against PM Shehbaz, ministers
Last week, a group of Pakistani pilgrims kicked, kicked and chanted slogans at Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his party at the Masjid-i-Nabwi Madina on their three-day visit – their first foreign trip since taking office – to Saudi Arabia. .
According to videos circulating on social media, Pakistani pilgrims at the mosque began chanting the words “no, no“(Thieves, thieves) as soon as they saw the prime minister.
In another video, pilgrims can be seen waving and throwing obscenities at union ministers Marrium Aurangzeb and Shahzain Bugti, as the couple is accompanied by Saudi security guards. In one video, a traveler could be seen pulling Bugti’s hair from behind.
Following the incident, the media director of the Saudi Arabian embassy in Islamabad confirmed that some of the pilgrims involved in the incident had been arrested. The official said the protesters had been detained for “violating the rules” and for “disrespecting” the sanctity of the holy mosque.
Politicians and other religious people are quick to condemn the incident, however, with some accusing PTI. For his part, Imran Khan said he “could not even imagine” asking anyone to make a beast in the sanctuary.
“I have spoken about Islamophobia on every stage,” he said in an interview on the first day of Eidul Fitr.
“The reason for doing so is my belief that until you do not love Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), your faith is not complete. I do not think of asking anyone to make a motto in that shrine. No one who loves Prophet PBUH) can think of it,” he said.