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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) extended protective bail of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders Fawad Chaudhary, Qasim Suri and others regarding Masjid-e-Nabwi incident.

A single bench of Chief Justice Athar Minallah on Friday heard a petition of PTI leader Fawad and others, wherein, they asserted that due to political victimization multiple criminal cases have been registered at the behest of the federal government merely to harass and intimidate them and other leaders/ workers of the PTI.

The IHC bench again issued the notices to the respondents and directed them to provide the details of the cases registered against the PTI leaders.

During the hearing, the PTI counsel, Ali Bukhari advocate, and others appeared before the court and informed the bench that the PTI leaders still have no information that how many cases are registered against them and at which places.

The bench remarked that it is the basic right of the petitioners to know about the details of cases registered against them.

Later, the court extended their protective bails till June 28 in this matter and deferred the proceedings.

Previously, the IHC chief justice had emphasized in its written order that religion should not be dragged into politics and the use of religion for politics is also a disrespect of religion.

Justice Minallah observed that it was the responsibility of the state to create an environment of patience and stability in the country. He added that if there is no patience, things like these (registering cases) will happen and it is wrong.

The judge further observed that apparently, it seems that the cases registered in Pakistan were not justified. He maintained that religious sentiments were important but the state had a responsibility. He remarked that the government has not learnt anything from the Sialkot-like incident, where a Sri Lankan national was lynched over blasphemy allegations.

Justice Minallah said that if there is an impression that this is happening politically, then it is the job of the state to dispel it. He remarked that in the past, such cases have put people’s lives at stake and asked the deputy attorney general that how should the state deal with the matter.

The IHC CJ said that the Constitution of Pakistan has been disrespected many times and had that not been the case, the country would not be at the juncture where it is today.

Justice Minallah noted that all institutions fall under the Constitution’s ambit, and the state must ensure that the religion is neither exploited nor used in the Masjid-e-Nabwi case.

He remarked that religion should not be used in politics and the state should sit down with all political stakeholders and draft a policy to keep religion away from politics.

At this, the deputy attorney general informed the court that he would seek guidance from the government in this regard.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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