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‘Law Enforcement Agencies Are Not Acting Independently’, Remarks Secretary SCBA

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Police department and law enforcement agencies are acting neither independently nor objectively, asserts Ahmed Shehzad Rana, Secretary SCBA, in light of recent arrests of PDM activists. Government is suppressing democratic values by clampdown on opposition and he would resist any such attempts that snatch away the fundamental right of free speech.

In a press release issued Thursday November 26 by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) of Pakistan, the Secretary of SCBA Ahmed Shehzad Farooq Rana strongly condemned the arrest of Mr. Ali Musa Gilani when he along with other PPP workers was peacefully protesting against the arrest of Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) activists. Mr. Rana termed the arrest as an act of political victimization, and hooliganism, being orchestrated by the incumbent government out of sheer “egoist revenge”.

He further condemned the FIR lodged “without any probable cause” against PPP and PMLN activists, including former MNA Abdul Qadir Gilani, and PML-N leader Rana Naveed Advocate. The FIR was lodged under sections 147/149 and 186/427, besides sections 7, 17 and 18 of the Punjab Infections Diseases (Prevention and Control) Ordinance 2020.

When contacted by Naya Daur, Mr. Ahmed Shehzad stated that the charges filed were weak and only demonstrated a selective and biased enforcement of law. These measures were taken with the sole purpose of weakening the Pakistan Democratic Movement and blocking PDM’s upcoming public meeting to be held in Multan on November 30.

Barely a week ago, the Government gave official permission to Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) to amass a huge gathering for the funeral service of TLP leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi, while the ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI),itself, has also been organizing large public gatherings. The Government should implement the same measures and subject all political parties to the same rulings for the rule-of-law to be accepted and respected.

Secretary SCBA stated that the Government is bent upon suppressing people’s voice as holding a peaceful protest is a Constitutional right and barring it is a complete violation of Article 19 which warrants every citizen the freedom of speech and freedom of expression. He further stated that the actions being taken by the Police clearly reflect that the Police department and law enforcement agencies are acting neither independently nor objectively.

Latest development: A special magistrate on Thursday granted bail to PPP’s former MNA and 12 other local leaders of the Pakistan Democratic Movement who were arrested on Wednesday.

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