The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday accepted lawyer Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir’s petition to dismiss a case filed against her by the Pakistan Army for allegedly “abusing and defaming the senior command” of the institution after she expressed “regret” over her words.
The development came after the daughter of former human rights minister Shireen Mazari expressed “regret” over her words.
On May 26, an FIR was registered against Mazari-Hazir at Islamabad’s Ramna police station on the complaint of Lt Colonel Syed Humayun Iftikhtar under sections 138 (abetment of act of insubordination by soldier) and 505 (inciting people against armed forces) of the Penal Code.
Lt Colonel Iftikhtar represented the Judge Advocate General (JAG) branch of the General Headquarters (GHQ), composed of the military’s senior officers, lawyers, and judges who provide legal services to the forces.
The FIR said that Mazari-Hazir had made a “derogatory and hateful” statement on May 21, the day her mother, former human rights minister Shireen Mazari, was arrested from outside her house in land ownership and transfer case.
After her mother’s arrest, a video of Mazari-Hazir was shared on social media in which she could be seen making statements about Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Eman Mazari trains her guns towards army chief Gen Bajwa, accusing him arresting her mother, Dr Shirin Mazari, demanding an explanation. pic.twitter.com/leo1ULxQyw
— Syed Talat Hussain (@TalatHussain12) May 21, 2022
“Such statements, made with the intent to cause and create unrest and Chaos in the Pakistan Army which is also leading to the punishable offence,” the FIR read.
During the hearing, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that Mazari-Hazir “was a respectable officer of the court and should not have uttered the words even under normal circumstances.”
It further said that Mazari-Hazir had expressed “regret” over her words and accepted that “what happened should not have happened.”
“If the petitioner asks for forgiveness, what is left in the case?” the CJP asked.
However, the counsel for the JAG branch argued that the word forgiveness was not mentioned even once in the reply submitted by Mazari-Hazir.
“If she has to apologise, she should do so in front of the media,” he added.
Subsequently, the court accepted Mazari-Hazir’s petition and dismissed the case against her.