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Minister Shireen Mazari Says Sedition Laws Have No Place In ‘Independent Democratic State’

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In the wake of a sedition case against the leadership of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari has reiterated that ‘colonial laws, like sedition laws, have no place in an independent democratic state’.

The minister was responding to a tweet by journalist and lawyer Reema Omer, wherein the latter had shared Mazari’s previous statements on the use of ‘anachronistic’ laws against the opponents.  “As Dr Mazari said, laws like sedition are oppressive and have no place in democracies,” Omer wrote.

At this, the federal minister she stands by what she said in Feb this year.

“Colonial laws, like the FCR & Sedition laws are an anachronism in an independent, democratic state. We need to remember colonial laws were to keep natives in control & subservient,” Mazari had said in Feb.

Complainant accused of attempted murder

Badar Rasheed, the complainant in the sedition case against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, has allegedly been involved in a number of crimes, including attempted murder, said police on Tuesday.

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According to a report by Geo News, cases [first information report] against Rasheed have been registered at multiple police stations of the provincial capital. These cases range from attempted murder to illegal weapons and interference in government matters, it said, adding that he was detained by police in the past on multiple occasions.

Geo News reported that the complainant was booked at Shahdara police station over an attempted murder — the same police station where he lodged the sedition FIR against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leadership, including the Azad Kashmir prime minister.

On the other hand, an illegal weapons case had been registered at the Sharqpur police station of Lahore, whereas a case of interference in government matters and a scuffle with police had been registered at the Old Anarkali Police Station.

Media reports also linked Rasheed with the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), even though the party has distanced itself from the cases. They claim that Rasheed contested an election for a Union Council chairman post on a PTI ticket.

Case against Nawaz

Lahore police registered a case against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader Nawaz Sharif and other party leaders for ‘conspiring’ against the country and state institutions. The FIR had also named Azad Jammu Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider.

According to an FIR registered at Shahdara police station, the former prime minister was ‘carrying out a planned conspiracy to defame the country and its institutions by making inflammatory speeches’.

The FIR also implicates PML-N leaders Ahsan Iqbal, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Pervaiz Rashid, Maryam Nawaz, Rana Sanaullah and Marriyum Aurangzeb and others who participated in the PML-N’s Central Executive Committee and Central Working Committee meetings held last week, reported Dawn.

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It said the Nawaz, who went to London for medical treatment, was facing corruption charges in the courts of Pakistan. However, instead of availing medical care in England, the PML-N leader was ‘conspiring’ against the country.

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Naya Daur