Upholding Fundamental Rights – The Imperative for Justice, Freedom and Democracy

Upholding Fundamental Rights – The Imperative for Justice, Freedom and Democracy
Image Courtesy: AFP

Blatant violation of Fundamental Rights

On the international scale, every country is searching a perfect state for its citizen, but Pakistan’s current state of affairs is nothing short of distressing. In the past 4 months, the violation of fundamental rights of citizens, including the right to due process of law, freedom of association to any political party, and freedom of speech, has reached a state which can only be called sheer embarrassment for Pakistan on the international front. Today we’ll address few cases which have become a new face of fascism, oppression and tyranny in Pakistan. The institution of establishment and police are so determined to erase all those dissenting voices from the national scene, who dare to speak up.

Imaan Hazir Mazari, a lawyer, social activist and a daughter of Former Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari, who is also very vocal critic of enforced disappearances of different communities in Pakistan, have found herself entangled in a web of injustice for her impassioned speech at a PTM (Pashtun Tahafuz Movement) rally in Islamabad.

The speech at the PTM rally led to the filing of three FIRs against her in multiple police stations, resulting in her arrest on charges ranging from sedition to rioting and dacoity, indeed a bizarre one. We can all only imagine with which the fundamental rights of people have been snatched, that law enforcement personnel barged into her residence in the early hours without an arrest warrant, which is the most basic fundamental right of any individual.

She was granted post-arrest bail in one of the cases, but Ms. Mazari’s suffering continued as she remained in custody until she obtained bail in the second case. As soon as she got the second bail, she was arrested again just outside the prison gate, and this time on trumped up charges of Terror Financing. The counsel of Ms. Mazari vehemently opposed her arrest and stated that police while arresting Ms. Mazari has completely violated the Islamabad High Court orders.

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Ali Wazir’s endless Detention

Ali Wazir, who is an opinionated PTM leader, was also arrested alongside Ms. Mazari, apparently due to his speech at the PTM convention just outside Islamabad, still awaits bail by the Hon’ble Courts.

Ali Wazir, Former South Waziristan MNA also faced an exceptional ordeal during the Imran Khan government, wherein he was kept incarcerated in the police station in Sindh, on various pretext for over two years, despite being acquitted and granted bail several times by the Hon’ble Courts.

Citizens of Pakistan are kept in prison without following any due process of law post May 9, 2023, and there is a sinister predictability evidently visible to public of Pakistan, for repeated incarceration at the authorities’ pleasure in trumped-up cases.

Plight of PTI Leaders

During the past 16 months, many PTI party leaders have been incarcerated in jails for reasons later known to the public, after being arrested e.g., Shahbaz Gill was detained and apparently tortured on charges related to mutiny. Secondly, Mr. Azam Swati, sitting senator, was seen crying on national media due a video of him and his wife having intimacy. Shehryar Afridi, a prominent PTI stalwart was also arrested some ten times, not even allowed to participate in his brother’s funeral prayers. Another example of this brutality is Ali Muhammad Khan, who was also incarcerated more than 7 times. Such atrocities by the authorities have made a mockery of the courts.

Lastly, it is Imran Khan, Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, who PTI leaders are often heard saying was not allowed to produce his witnesses U/s 342 of Cr.P.C and was arrested in a case on August 5, 2023 and still in prison despite court orders by the Islamabad High Court. He is rearrested now in cipher case otherwise known leaked cable’s missing copy case.

Unseen Detainees

PTI has often claimed that more than 10 thousand workers are arrested in jails on trumped up charges by the establishment, also facing trials in military courts. In this regard, it is pertinent to mention that erosion of justice can be seen from the statement of Punjab caretaker government in Lahore High Court, wherein the representative stated that detainees are not allowed to meet their families and denied access to legal counsels of their choice, is far beyond our comprehension and raises a haunting question of Pakistan being a totally banana republic.

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2 thoughts on “Upholding Fundamental Rights – The Imperative for Justice, Freedom and Democracy”

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