Freedom of speech or treason! -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Freedom of speech or treason!

Pakistan Press Foundation

Altaf Hussain, a British national, gets live coverage from all private television channels, delivering a speech in which he threatens to carve out a new state, if his demands are not met and yet PEMRA finds nothing wrong with this. Does this qualify as freedom of speech guaranteed by constitution? I am afraid the Constitution of Pakistan does not allow such abuse. If he had confined his speech to just a separate province, that could be understandable, because other political parties, including PPP, have been resorting to such political tactics but he tried to put a spanner in the local bodies elections.

It is a betrayal of constitutional obligation of those elected, if they create hurdles in holding Local Body elections. However the fact remains that Constitution of Pakistan prohibits any political party from spreading venom against the country or advocating its breakup. As for creation of a separate province, there is a specific procedure laid down in constitution, which has to be followed, and which MQM is entitled to follow.

It is time people of Pakistan understand that an individual can swear allegiance to only one nation. Just like recitation of ‘Kalima’, a verbal oath that converts a non-Muslim to Islam, an ‘Oath of Allegiance’ binds him to undivided loyalty for a specific country. Pakistan is a constitutional democracy, in which Constitution is supreme and all political parties, state organs, public office holders and institutions have to conform accordingly within defined corridors.

No citizen of Pakistan or institution has the right to violate constitution and if he does, he is guilty of treason. The Constitution is what Supreme Court interprets it to be, not what any politician or General thinks it is. Either we submit to the ‘Rule of Law and the Constitution’, or else there will be chaos, anarchy and lawlessness in this country. What we are witnessing today is consequence of numerous violations, suspensions, or holding in abeyance of constitution by self assumed guardians of state and unfortunate reality that they have got away with such acts of treason. It is time to put a stop to this nonsense. We owe it to thousands of our valiant soldiers, who laid down their lives and millions who were killed in 1947, so that Quaid’s Pakistan survives as modern democratic welfare state.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,
Lahore,

The Nation


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