ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Wednesday filed an application in the Supreme Court of Pakistan to withdraw its review petition against the court’s judgment on Faizabad dharna.
A day ago the Intelligence Bureau (IB) had also filed an application to withdraw its review petition against the SC verdict February 6, 2019. A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Aminuddin Khan and Justice Athar Minallah will hear today the petitions of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Intelligence Bureau (IB), Military Intelligence (MI), and Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), media wing of army, the PTI, MQM-P, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Pemra, and defence ministry. The SC judgment had directed the intelligence agencies and the ISPR not to exceed their constitutional mandates. The pleas were not taken up during the tenures of the last three chief justices, namely Asif Saeed Khosa, Gulzar Ahmed and Umar Ata Bandial.
Justice Isa, in his 2019 Faizabad Dharna judgment, had written that the Constitution emphatically prohibited members of the armed forces from engaging in any kind of political activity, which included supporting a political party, faction or individual.
He had held that no one, including any government, department or intelligence agency, could curtail the fundamental right of freedom of speech, expression and press beyond the parameters mentioned in Article 19 of the Constitution.
He ruled that those who resorted to such tactics under the mistaken belief that they served some higher goal deluded themselves.