Islamabad, Oct 5 (PTI) A Pakistani court here on Monday rejected a plea seeking a ban on the broadcast of the speeches made by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif against the Pakistan Army, saying courts should not be unnecessarily dragged to decide such matters.
Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah in his four-page order said the petitioner could not satisfy the court regarding which of his rights were being affected by the matter.
“These kinds of issues unnecessarily dragged courts into matters of conflict and there was an alternate forum for the redressal of these issues,” Justice Minallah said.
The court also rejected the contention that the issue was a matter of public interest.
A Pakistani citizen on October 3 filed a petition in the IHC, seeking a ban on the airing of speeches of Sharif and party President Shehbaz Sharif on television channels against Prime Minister Imran Khan's government and the Pakistan Army.
In a decision taken last week, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) banned the broadcast and rebroadcast of any speech, interview or public address of absconders or proclaimed offenders, days after former prime minister Sharif made blistering speeches from exile in London targeting the powerful Pakistani Army.
The move by PEMRA came as it took cognizance of 70-year-old Sharif’s repeated attack on the Pakistan Army, with the latest being on Thursday during which he in a televised speech said that the military had rigged the 2018 vote that brought the country's current prime minister to power.
After the court hearing on Monday, Justice Minallah also ruled that the complainant could not satisfy the court regarding which of his rights were being affected by the matter.
Sharif served as Pakistan's prime minister three times, first removed by a president in 1993, then by military ruler Pervez Musharraf in 1999.
A court in 2017 ousted him from power over corruption allegations. Khan, a former cricketer, came to power in 2018.
Sharif spoke from London, where he has been since last November when he was released on bail to seek medical treatment abroad. At the time, a court permitted Sharif to leave the country for four weeks, but he did not return.
A court last month issued arrest warrants for Sharif, previously sentenced to seven years in prison on corruption and money laundering charges stemming from disclosures in the Panama Papers. PTI SH RUP RUP RUP RUP