No relief for people who criticise state, the judge says
The Lahore High Court dismissed Javed Latif’s appeal in the controversial remarks case after his lawyer withdrew their petition.
Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan took up Latif’s appeal against the FIR filed against him for making anti-state statements.
There will be no relief for people who criticise the state, the chief justice said. “You made comments against the country and Constitution, and now you want the law to provide relief to you?”
Do people not love their country anymore, he asked. “People who want to live in Pakistan will be held accountable for their actions. You can move abroad if you don’t like the country.”
On this, Latif’s lawyer Farhad Shah said that they are withdrawing their application.
On March 13, PML-N leader Mian Javed Latif said that they would not chant Pakistan Khappay (we want Pakistan) if anything happened to his party’s vice-president, Maryam Nawaz. “It is the matter of a leader’s life,” Latif told SAMAA TV’s Paras Jahanzaib on her show. “I am saying it beforehand when Benazir Bhutto realized the threats to her life, she took names and after that the tragedy took place.”
A week later, an FIR including sections on criminal conspiracy and intimidation was registered against Latif. The complaint was filed by a resident of Lahore’s Township, identified as Muhammad Jameel Saleem, at the area’s police station on March 20 at 8am.
“On March 12 at 10pm, Latif came on SAMAA TV show Newsbeat and spoke against the state institutions and tried to harbour the crimes committed by PML-N leaders Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz,” the FIR read.
The politician was charged under sections 120B [Punishment of criminal conspiracy], 153A [Promoting enmity between different groups], 505(1)B [Statements conducing to public mischief], and 506 [Punishment for criminal intimidation] of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Sections of the Preventions of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 were included in the FIR as well.