Lawmakers move court for release of Mir Shakil, Geo restoration
A petition was filed by Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and other parliamentarians before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday against moving Geo News to the last numbers on cable networks while seeking immediate release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, the editor-in-chief of Jang/Geo Group.
The petitioners – which also include Ahsan Iqbal, Shahida Begum and Maulana Akbar Chitrali – have asked the court to restore the TV channel’s position, which it enjoyed before the arrest of Mir Shakil.
They also requested the court to form a committee that would submit a report after ensuring implementation within a week.
The Federation, the NAB chairman and the PEMRA chief have been made respondents in the petition.
The lawmakers in their petition have contended that Article 17 is essential to the right of accessing information and the freedom of speech.
Saying that the freedom of speech and media freedom are a prerequisite to democracy, they said the NAB arrested Mir Shakil in violation of court judgments.
According to the petition, Mir Shakil had been facing pressure to stop criticism of NAB, which he shrugged off. Moreover, the Geo/Jang had also moved the LHC (Lahore High Court) about the pressure exerted by both NAB and PEMRA; however, the federal as well as the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments instead stopped giving ads to Geo/Jang and Dawn.
Noting that Mir Shakil has been arrested despite the fact that he provided all the documents, the petition says the position of Geo News was changed after the press conference held by Firdous Ashiq Awan, the special assistant to the prime minister.