AGP assures SC FIA won’t chase journalists before polls

ISLAMABAD  -  Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Tuesday reiterated that neither any coercive action will be taken nor will Federal Inves­tigating Agency (FIA) proceed against journalists who have been served notices for allegedly criticizing the judiciary, before February 8. A three-member bench of the SC headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Qazi Faez Isa conducted hearing of the suo motu notice against the harassment of journalists by FIA.

During the hearing, the attor­ney general submitted that the honest criticism on a judgment or an order is not a crime and no coer­cive action will be taken nor criminal case will be registered in this regard and extends an undertak­ing on behalf of the federal government. The Press Association of Supreme Court (PAS) and the Is­lamabad High Court Journalists Association (IHCJA) on January 27 had passed a joint reso­lution. According to that the FIA has issued no­tices to journalists purportedly on the ground that the judiciary was being maligned and they apprehend that journalists will be arrested when they attend the office of FIA. During the proceedings, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, a member of the bench, told AGP Mansoor Usman Awan that if the FIA wants to issue follow-up no­tice to the journalists then that should be done after the general elections. The Attorney-Gener­al was directed to file separate comprehensive reports within two weeks with regard to the po­lice investigations on the cases of Asad Ali Toor, Matiullah Jan, Imran Shafqat and Amir Mir, and whether charges were framed against anyone.

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