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Ex Deputy Attorney General moves Pak SC against media's 'anti-army campaign'

June 24, 2011 - Islamabad

Former Pakistan's Deputy Attorney General Sardar Muhammad Ghazi has filed a constitution petition in the Supreme court to stop the media from criticizing the country's armed forces, intelligence and other security related institutions, especially the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Ghazi filed the petition under Article 184 (3) making the federation through Ministry of Information Secretary, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), Geo TV anchors Najam Sethi and Hamid Mir, and Ijaz Haider, as respondents.

The petitioner pleaded that the constitutional provisions be enforced at as the Pakistan's polity, particularly the armed forces and the ISI, feels threatened at this juncture.

"The pen pushers and anchor persons are spitting venom against the ISI and the armed forces," he said.

Ghazi contended that organised campaign was launched in the world media targeting army and the ISI after the Abbottabad operation, which resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden, and the PNS Mehran attack in Karachi.

"The anchorpersons and the writer jointly and severally are trying to run down the army generals and as such their command stands eroded in the eyes of the force being commanded by them," The Daily Times quoted the petition, as saying.

Ghazi also contended that the petition involved enforcement of fundamental rights as guaranteed in articles 9, 19 and 27A of the Pakistan constitution. He urged the court to declare that the freedom of press and expression is not absolute and is subject to certain restrictions and limitations imposed as mandated in Article 19.

He requested that the federation, through the Information Ministry and PEMRA, may be directed to enforce in letter and spirit, the constitution, relevant law, rules and regulations, including the code of conduct contained in PEMRA Rules.

The petitioner also called for cancellation of the licence of Geo TV network and also the declaration of the Pakistan Daily Express Tribune.


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