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June 8, 2019

Petition filed seeking ban on PTM - IHC Sought replies from PEMRA, PTA and PTM

Petition filed seeking ban on PTM - IHC Sought replies from PEMRA, PTA and PTM

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday sought replies from Manzoor Pashteen, Mohsin Dawar, Ali Wazir, Ministry of Law and Justice, Ministry of Defence, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in a petition filed against the anti-state and anti-army rhetoric of Pashtoon Tahafuz Movement (PTM).

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq heard the petition seeking ban on PTM because the PTM has neither been registered as a political party nor as a corporate body and is just an association of persons. The IHC bench issued notices to Pashteen, Dawar, Wazir, Ministries of Law and Justice and Defence, PEMRA and PTA. The court directed them to submit their replies in this connection. It also sought written response from the Ministry of Interior in this matter.

The court issued these directions while hearing a petition moved by Colonel Javed Iqbal (retd) through his counsel Barrister Shoaib Razzaq and deferred the hearing for two weeks. Javed made the federation through Ministry of Law and Justice, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defence, PEMRA, PTA, PTM through its chairperson Manzoor Pashteen and lawmakers Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir as respondents.

In his petition, he prayed to the court to direct the federation and other concerned respondents to take appropriate action against PTM, Dawar and Wazir under the prevailing laws in the best interest of the country and to uphold the respect and prestige of Pakistan Army.

The petitioner prayed that the court may ban PTM which has neither been registered as a political party nor as a corporate body, and is just an association of persons. He stated that all those who are held responsible for maligning Pakistan Army and other state institutions be tried under appropriate criminal laws. He requested the court to declare that Pashteen, Dawar and Wazir have committed gross violation of Code of Conduct, 2015 and PEMRA Ordinance 2002 and that the respondent No. 5 (PEMRA) has failed to stop and act against their violations.

He further requested the court to declare that these people have used electronic media and social media for hate speech, incitation, abetting, glamorising and/or justifying violence, commission of crime, terror and which has led to or will lead to serious public disorder. Therefore, they are liable to be banned for lifetime on all media, including but not limited to print media, electronic media and social media.

He was of the view that it should be declared that these people have maligned the state institutions and an attempt has been made to create division amongst different ranks of Pakistan Army and therefore, the court may direct respondent No. 5 and 6 (PEMRA and PTA respectively) to take serious action against them and ban them from hosting, appearing in any manner, including but not limited to, as a guest, analyst, reporter, actor, in audio, video, beeper, promo/advertisement in any electronic media.

The petitioner also sought the court's directions to PTA to immediately delete/block all social media accounts of the respondents Nos. 4, 7 and 8 on all forums available on Internet or otherwise.

Business Recorder, 4 June 2019



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