The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday summoned Director General (DG) PEMRA to appear before the court in person in response to a petition filed against 'anti-state' and 'anti-army' rhetoric of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM).
A single-member bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq heard the petition seeking ban on PTM as the same has neither been registered as a political party nor any as a corporate body, just an association of persons. The IHC bench directed the DG PEMRA to appear before the court in person and deferred the hearing till June 20 in this connection.
Previously, the bench had directed Manzoor Pashteen, Mohsin Dawar, Ali Wazir, Ministry of Law and Justice, Ministry of Defense, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to submit their replies in this regard. It had also sought written response from the Ministry of Interior in this matter.
The court issued these directions while hearing of a petition moved by Colonel Javed Iqbal (retd) through his counsel Barrister Shoaib Razzaq.
Javed made federation through ministry of law and justice, ministry of interior, ministry of defense, PEMRA, PTA, PTM through its chairperson Manzoor Pashteen and lawmakers Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir as respondents.
In his petition, the petitioner urged the court to direct 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 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 (PTA) 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, glamorizing and or justifying violence, commission of crime, terror and which has lead 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 the 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 court's directions to PTA to immediately delete/block all social media accounts of the Respondent No. 4, 7 and 8 on all forums available on Internet or otherwise.