IHC directs DG FIA not to harass anchorperson

ISLAMABAD  -  The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday directed the Director General (DG) Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) not to harass anchorperson Arshad Sharif and other journalists.

A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah issued the directions after hearing the petition of Arshad Sharif who sought protection against the alleged harassment of FIA.

In its written order, the IHC bench directed the Director General, Federal Investigation Agency as well the Inspector General of Police, Islamabad Capital Territory to nominate their respective authorised representatives to appear before the court on 29-04-2022 (today) at 10:30 am.

The IHC Chief Justice said, “In the meanwhile they are directed to ensure that the petitioner, Arshad Sharif, nor any other journalist is unnecessarily harassed nor dealt with otherwise than in accordance with law.”

The petitioner’s counsel stated before the court that he was instructed by the petitioner, Arshad Sharif, last night to approach the court because he was being harassed. The counsel further contended that since last night he has not been able to establish contact with the petitioner and that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the respondent i.e. Federal Investigation Agency has malafidely and illegally detained the petitioner.

He also contended that the fundamental rights of the petitioner and other persons engaged in the profession of journalism are being violated by the respondents.

After hearing the arguments, the IHC bench directed the office to issue notices to the respondents for filing report and para-wise comments and adjourned the hearing till today.

Meanwhile, the FIA has denied some social media reports that the agency has harassed and arrested senior journalist and anchorperson Arshad Sharif.

“FIA has neither arrested nor harassed anchorperson Arshad Sharif,” a spokesperson of the agency said in a statement adding that the news in this regard seems fake.

FIA said that the propaganda against the FIA and its officers being made on social media is deplorable. “The media and people are requested to desist from such propaganda.”

The FIA reserves the right to sue such people involved in such propaganda, the statement said. In addition, legal action can be taken against such people who initiate and spread such propaganda, it added.

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