K-P govt decides to book PDM leaders for 'seditious' statements

PTI govt moves court against 'hateful, seditious' remarks against institutions


Our Correspondent August 24, 2022
PPP co-chair and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, JUI-F cheif Maulana Fazlur Rehman and PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz along with other ruling coalition leaders address media in Islamabad on July 25, 2022. PHOTO: APP

PESHAWAR:

The PTI-led government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) on Tuesday decided to book leaders of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) for their “hateful and seditious statements” against the state institutions.

An application seeking first information report (FIR), a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, was filed at the Sharqi police station under Section 196 (prosecution for offences against the state) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups), 108-A (abetment in Pakistan of offences outside it) and 505 (statements conducive to public mischief) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The application nominated PML-N leaders Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Rana Sanaullah, Atta Tarar, Ayaz Sadiq, Pervaiz Rashid and JUI-F head Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

The complainant, a lawyer by profession, said, “Hateful remarks against the country have been passed by the PDM leaders in the past in an attempt to damage the institutions and sovereignty.”

He alleged that the "provocative" statements against the judiciary and military had since been widely circulated on social media and were viewed by a large number of people across the globe. Like all other patriots, he continued, he was deeply hurt by the statements which, according to him, were passed at the behest of enemy country.

Meanwhile, Dera Ismail Khan Additional Assistant Commissioner Muneer Ahmad had been authorised under Section 196 of the CrPC to register the cases on the complaint of former federal minister and PTI leader Ali Amin Gandapur.

The development comes after sources revealed that the K-P government had been laying a legal groundwork against the PDM leaders.

On August 19, following the K-P cabinet’s approval, a notification by the provincial government’s administration department was issued.

However, the provincial government refrained from announcing its decision.

The notification states: “In exercise of powers conferred by Section 196 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1989 […] and in pursuance of the cabinet’s decision dated August 18, 2022, the government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is pleased to empower Muneer Ahmad, additional assistant commissioner, DI Khan to receive written complaint(s) from Ali Ameen Gandapur or any other interested party and require local police to lodge FIR(s) under sections 108-A, 153-A and 505 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 read with any other enabling provisions of law and to sanction and pursue such cases within his respective jurisdictions with effect from August 18, 2022.”

Earlier in the day, Special Assistant to the K-P Chief Minister Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif confirmed the development, saying that the K-P government, where the PTI is at the helm of affairs, has decided to book PDM leaders for their "hateful statements"

The move comes after former prime minister Imran Khan was booked under the anti-terrorism act on Sunday.

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