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“This Is Pakistan, Not India”: Justice Minallah, Charges Against Islamabad Protesters Dropped

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Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked, “This is Pakistan, not India” as cases against activists of the Awami Workers Party (AWP) and Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) were closed.

Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat informed the court that all charges had been dropped. These included sedition charges as well as anti-terror ones.

Advocate General Tariq Mehmood Jahangir expressed his worries over the “secret agenda” of the protesters. In his view, since the state had been fighting terrorism for 20 years, “No one should say anything against the state.” The Chief Justice responded that the state and its institutions were not so “weak” as to be adversely affected by the views of protesters.

In his remarks, Justice Minallah had also urged authorities to be more open to expressions of dissent:
“An elected democratic government cannot place curbs on freedom of expression,” he said.

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