PHC moved on govt's tactics against Jang Group

By our correspondent

PESHAWAR: Peshawar High Court (PHC) was moved on Friday seeking a directive to the federal government to end pressure on daily Jang Group.

Nowshera-based Tauqir Arshad Lodhi, known for filing constitutional writs on issues concerning human rights, submitted a petition with the Peshawar High Court on Friday morning. He will himself follow the petition.

The petitioner prayed to the court that all actions by the federal government and Ehtesab Bureau against the Jang Group of Publications be declared as illegal, unlawful and void of any legal authority.

Lodhi prayed that after playing havoc with the judiciary, Nawaz Sharif government planned to tighten noose around the print media. For this purpose, he added, federal government floated the idea of press council which was strongly opposed by the newspapers owners, working journalists and all their representative bodies. In second phase, he said, the government decided to punish the disobedient newspapers. He said daily Jang and its sister organisations happened to be on top of the hit list. He further said that the government stopped government advertisements to daily Jang and issued income tax notices to the newspaper.

Petitioner argued that aforementioned steps were a violation of articles 18, 19 and 25 of the constitution and the teachings of Islam explained in the last sermon of Holy Prophet (PBUH). He further argued that Supreme Court of Pakistan in Mian Nawaz Sharif case (PLD 1993 SC 473) and Maulana Moddudi's case (PLD 1964 SC 673) laid down that fundamental rights should receive dynamic interpretation according to the changing time.

Lodhi further said that chief purpose of freedom of the speech is to check the dictatorship of the government and it did not depend on wishes of the rulers. He said that Nawaz Sharif government's attitude was also violative of the first 10 amendments in the US constitution and British and French Constitutions.

The News International Pakistan