ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court, Chief Justice, Athar Minallah remarked on Friday that no Pakistani citizen can be declared a traitor.
He was hearing a case on journalist Fakhar Durrani, who is affiliated with The News, being called a traitor and his alleged harassment by State agencies. The court ruled that government institutions should stop harassing the journalist.
Notices have been issued to the interior secretary, information secretary, FIA DG, PEMRA chairperson, and Islamabad IG.
Lawyer Imran Shafiq, who was representing the journalist, said his client has been accused of being a traitor and having ties with Indian intelligence agency RAW.
The chief justice asked what charges have been framed against him. There are no formal charges but his name is being associated with a former officer of the Indian army, Shafiq told the court. These are all baseless allegations but they have put in danger the lives of the journalist and his family members, he said.
He also has no links with the data on Asim Bajwa’s family registered with the SECP, the lawyer said.
The lawyer said his client had written a story on the dual citizenship of Federal Water Resources Minister Faisal Vawda and that had irked the minister.
Durrani in his report had revealed that Vawda filed his nomination papers on June 11, 2018 when he still held US nationality. His papers were approved on June 18, 2018. The federal minister had filed papers to give up his US citizenship on June 22 and he was issued a certificate on June 25.
Article 62(i)(f) deems it necessary for all members of Parliament to be sadiq and ameen. They are prohibited from concealing information about their assets.
On the other hand, Article 63(1)(c) of the Constitution says that “a person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of Parliament if he ceases to be a citizen of Pakistan or acquires the citizenship of a foreign state.”
The Islamabad High Court is hearing a case on the federal minister’s disqualification.