Journalists be not harassed for merely on talks: IHC

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ISLAMABAD, Sep 05 (Online): Islamabad High Court (IHC) while cautioning the information secretary has remarked journalists be not harassed for speaking merely.

The court further remarked federal government should coordinate with provincial government. No one should come to us with petition regarding harassment of the journalists.

The case came up for hearing before a single bench of IHC led by Chief Justice (CJ) Athar Minallah here Monday.

The court remarked why the government becomes upset over talks. Are the people stopped from talking because this way accountability is held. Before arrival of government there was a set target of the journalists. Now a second set target has taken place. Why there is always environment of fear and terror for journalists. It seems from some last years that speaking is the biggest crime.

The court directed the information secretary he should ensure no petition from journalists comes here now. Let not another letter come from UN Rapid war like the previous government.
The court directed the government to protect the freedom of expression. The court is unable to understand why the environment of fear is being created. How will this environment of fear come to end.
The court observed a group of journalists approached this court to get relief before this government. The other journalists are getting relief from this court after the induction of this government. This seems from this situation that something is taking place wrong to horrifying extent. The federal government has to remove this fear of the journalists. It is very vital issue. Nothing like this ever happens in civilized world that the journalists be arrested. If some one has committed crime then it is a different thing. However such actions should not be taken against the journalists. Full 50 cases are registered against a journalist all over the country. Let these information go to the people that the state is doing what with their rights. Nothing can be done through arrests. Why does the government become upset from the freedom of expression. This way accountability is held. Mati Ullah Jan was lifted from Islamabad which is on the record. The state failed in holding inquiry into Mati Ullah Jan case. The journalists too need self accountability. Speech may be correct or incorrect it can not be shut now. Coming letter like this from UN is source of humiliation for us.

President Islamabad High Court Journalists Association Saqib Bashir appeared and told the court we believe in the writ of law and constitution. Question was raised on critical tweets in the previous government and too it is being raised in the incumbent government. Recently objection has been raised on the tweet of one of our friends.
The court remarked the secretary information will remove your objections.
President PFUJ Afzal Butt, secretary general Arshad Ansari, finance secretary Lala Asad Pathan too appeared in the court.

President PFUJ told the court we are bound by law and constitution. No one is above law. We have met information secretary but we could not meet interior secretary.

The court remarked information secretary is government too who will remove your objections.

The court while directing information secretary to file report till September 30 adjourned the hearing of the case.