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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday extended protective bails to anchors Arshad Sharif, Sami Ibrahim, Imran Riaz and Moeed Pirzada and remarked that every political party that comes into power forgets the past.

A single bench of Chief Justice Athar Minallah on Monday was hearing the petitions of the journalists seeking protective bails in the FIRs registered against them in several cities over the last couple of days.

During the hearing, the IHC chief justice said that the government should talk to the journalists’ bodies to deal with cases against journalists. He remarked that the political leadership should come forward to address the real issues beyond their personal differences.

Justice Minallah said if there was a complaint against any journalist, it should be registered at one place. He asked why every government that comes to power forgets the past. He further said that the Baloch students were being baton-charged by the last government, and the current government is also not listening to them.

He further said that whether the state thought it had any responsibility towards its people. He added that there was no one to raise a voice for the missing persons.

The IHC CJ expressed displeasure towards the federal government after the home secretary did not submit his response regarding the matter. He remarked that these problems will be resolved if even half the lawmakers currently engaged in the struggle for power put in efforts in this matter.

The chief justice said that the state itself does not play any role to deal with the issues of violation of fundamental rights. Then the court suggested the federal government to devise a mechanism that facilitates filing complaints in one place by journalists facing any problem. The court also sought suggestions from the journalists’ bodies to devise a policy to deal with cases against journalists and deferred the hearing till June 4.

In this matter, multiple cases were lodged against journalists Arshad Sharif, Sabir Shakir, Sami Ibrahim, and Imran Riaz Khan for allegedly spreading hate against the army and state institutions.

The cases were registered at police stations in Latifabad, Dadu, and many other areas.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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