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PML-N legislators arrested over abusive anti-judiciary protests

55 individuals have been arrested, so far, for their contemptuous remarks.

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News Analysis |

Police have arrested Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Member National Assembly (MNA) Waseem Akhtar Sheikh and Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) Naeem Safdar over allegations of anti-judiciary rants during a protest in Kasur-Punjab.

The alleged culprits were arrested from Azad Kashmir, where they reportedly fled after the protests. Police had booked 70 people in two separate cases after the protests were launched against the judiciary and state institutions. The total number of the arrested individual has reached 55 so far.

Both the individuals, along with the participants of the rally had used an inappropriate and abusive language against the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, other judges, and state institutions.

Kasurwas the continuation of this process. If the Apex court had taken stern action against top-tier leadership, Kasur may not have witnessed such public display of abusive language against the judiciary.

Police had registered two First Investigation Report (FIR’s) on the applications of the Advocate Major (retired) Habib-ur-Rehman and Constable Abdul Rasheed, who had nominated PML-N leaders and many influential people from the area for anti-judicial rants.

In Kasur, protests were launched after the Apex Court announced its landmark decision to disqualify Nawaz for life from participating in elections and holding a public office for life. On April 13, Supreme Court of Pakistan had announced the much-awaited decision and ruled that legislators disqualified under Article 62(1) (f) of the Constitution will not be able to contest the elections for the rest of their life.

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Protestors were incited to utter anti-judiciary slogans and were encouraged to burn tires and block roads. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi took notice of the protests and passed the directive to take stern actions against those involved in the derogatory remarks against the top judge.

Police vowed to take action against the protestors. On the orders of Punjab’s Inspector General of Police (IGP) Arif Nawaz, district police initiated the inquiry and sent the teams of police to arrest the local leaders and PML-N workers who participated in the rally.

The alleged culprits were arrested from Azad Kashmir, where they reportedly fled after the protests. Police had booked 70 people in two separate cases after the protests were launched against the judiciary and state institutions.

The video clip which emerged from the protests is unbelievably vulgar, where a PML-N legislator can be heard of using extremely harsh and abusive language against the judiciary. On certain issues, where the difference of opinion arises, people across the society including journalists voice their concerns, even on the unpopular decisions of the judiciary.

But, reaching such a low level and shouting cuss words against the top judge is strongly condemnable. And, that too, from legislators of national and provincial assemblies is a shameful act, which only reflects the lower morals of the society. PML-N leaders and their workers are hitting below the belt in the hope of ascendency.

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Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz set the trend of the anti-judiciary rhetoric after his ousting. Nawaz opted to launch a pre-planned strategy to malign judiciary. In public rallies across the country, Nawaz has been pulling huge crowds in his anti-judiciary campaign. Following the footsteps of their leader, other senior leaders of the party-Talal Chaudhary, Nehal Hashmi, and Daniyal Aziz openly threatened judiciary and used the foul language.

Apex Court had noticed their anti-judiciary rants and contempt of court proceedings were launched against them. Surprisingly, the father-daughter duo was given the clean chit and no action was taken against them on this tirade against the judiciary.

Significantly, Hashmi’s early release from jail and Apex court’s decision to forgive him, for his inflammatory remarks against the apex court, encouraged the other PML-N leaders to continue its campaign against the judiciary, expecting no serious charges. Kasurwas the continuation of this process. If the Apex court had taken stern action against top-tier leadership, Kasur may not have witnessed such public display of abusive language against the judiciary.


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