Cases against PTM activists dropped
What is happening in India will definitely not happen in Pakistan, says Justice Athar Minallah
February 17, 2020 05:04 PM
In a recent development concerning Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), the administration announced to withdraw treason and terrorism-related cases against the activists of PTM and Awami Workers Party.
Islamabad High Court disposed of all the constitutional applications against them after the statement of Deputy Commissioner Islamabad.
Chief Justice Islamabad High Court Athar Minallah remarked that all the applications against the demonstrators are rendered ineffective following the official statement by the administration.
“Now if you are barred from staging protests, you will be considered a victim, and hence can come to the court. We hope that the government will no longer infringe your freedom of expression,” said CJ Islamabad Court Athar Minallah.
IHC CJ said that the High Court cannot decide on academic matters but the kind of oppression happening in India regarding human rights and freedom of speech will not be allowed in Pakistan.
“What is happening in India will definitely not happen in Pakistan.”
Justice Athar Minallah recalled that the ruling party PTI had also filed a petition against section 144 when it was in opposition in 2014.
He said the court expects the government to respect freedom of expression and other fundamental rights of the citizens.
The chief justice assured the PTM people that their rights would be protected.
“You seem to be peaceful people. You can come back to us if you’re barred [from holding peaceful protests] again."
"Who could be bothered by the peaceful demonstrations of 25 people?” wondered Justice Athar Minallah.
Advocate General requested the court to give a written order against abusing the state and inciting hateful speeches.
On this, the CJ remarked, “We don’t expect from an elected government to silence the freedom of expression."
He further said, "Neither is the state too fragile nor is any institution too weak that it will be affected by it."