What fundamental rights have been violated that have necessitated a petition against the PTI leadership for an alleged hate campaign targeting national institutions such as the military, Supreme Court, and Pakistan’s Election Commission (PEC), the Supreme Court asked on Thursday.
Supreme Court Justices Ijazul Ahsan and Yahya Afridi took up a petition from Advocate Qausain Faisal through his counsel Hassan Raza Pasha, requesting that the private respondents, their official spokesmen and other members of the PTI be restrained from making any public or private statement against the institutions.
Court counsel was also instructed to show how the current matter was of public importance and how it could intervene under Article 184(3) against private individuals for reasons of public interest. Article 204 (contempt of court) can be invoked at any time by the court by issuing a notice and taking action.
An earlier hearing on July 18 had been ordered by Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah in a chamber hearing, after which the registrar’s office had been removed from objection, to be fixed before a SC bench.
Respondents to the petition included the Federation, the PTI, Imran Khan, Fawad Chaudhry, and Dr Shireen Mazari, all former government ministers for human rights. There was a request for the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMA), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to take immediate action to stop the publication of the allegedly organised hate campaign.
Petitioners argued that it was widely known that Imran Khan had been making inflammatory, defamatory, and provocative statements since he was ousted as prime minister and had been doing so on television, in interviews, and in print and electronic media, including social media.
Allegedly designed and calculated to tarnish the public’s image and severely tarnish the good reputation of institutions such as the Supreme Court and high courts, the military, and the European Court of Justice (ECP), the petition claimed.
A malicious, derogatory, and defamatory campaign against these national institutions was run by the former prime minister and his political allies in the media, particularly social media, to make the public hate and distrust these institutions.
If this were to happen, the petitioners feared that these institutions would be undermined and weakened, which would hurt Pakistan’s national security, law and order, and the protection of Pakistani citizens’ political rights.
Since Mr. Khan allegedly had administrative and financial support from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government in organizing and planning the hate campaign, it was impossible to distinguish between the private and public entities involved in the organization, logistics, and execution of the alleged hate campaign.
Anti-hate campaign’s goal was to destabilize institutions and their employees, resulting in political, economic, and security uncertainty, chaos, and anarchy, as well as the degeneration of the country.
Politics and economic turmoil may ensue as a result of this, according to a petition filed by a group of Pakistani citizens, who claimed that the respondents were making reckless and careless statements that were harming and eroding Pakistan’s international relations.
As a result, Pakistan’s relationship with its security and economic allies could become unstable and imbalanced, which could lead to economic and security risks and isolate the country from the rest of the world.