Lahore High Court rejects request to call US envoy over blasphemy
LAHORE: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial on Monday sustained the objections raised by the registrar office on a petition seeking in person appearance of US Ambassador and extradition of producers, writer, actor and others involved in making a blasphemous movie.
The profane movie namely “Innocence of Muslims” had attracted worldwide protests by the Muslims against the film.
Advocate Kamran Naseer Abbasi moved the writ petition seeking orders to summon the US ambassador for knowing what action had been taken so far against filmmakers. The petitioner had also sought extradition of producers, writer actor and others under Extradition Treaty between Pakistan and United State of America (USA) for their tails in the Pakistan.
The registrar office of the high court had raised objection on the petition that the any foreign ambassador couldn’t be made party in the petition while the copy of Extradition Treaty was also not attached with it.
Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial on Monday heard the petition as objection case and sustained the objections. The petitioner’s counsel submitted the court could order for extradition of filmmakers because Aimal Kansi was extradited to USA under an agreement between Pakistan and USA.
The chief justice observed that foreign ambassadors enjoyed sovereign immunity and couldn’t be summoned in the courts. He also clarified that the court couldn’t order any foreign country to extradite its citizens to Pakistan.
“We can just ask to our government to look into the matter,” the chief justice observed while sustaining the objections.
The petitioner sought permission from the court to amend the petition. The chief justice accepted his request and directed the petitioner to file a fresh petition by amending it.
Meanwhile, the Special Judge Central Monday confirmed interim bails earlier granted to former principal secretary to chief minister Punjab, Tauqeer Shah, and former personal staff officer Talha Burki, involved in former LHC Chief Justice Khawaja Sharif’s alleged murder conspiracy.
The court ordered both accused to deposit a surety bond of Rs 100,000 each for bail. Special Judge Central Farooq Altaf reserved the verdict on bail petitions of both accused after hearing arguments on Friday last which was announced in open court today.
Earlier, FIA officials informed the court that no evidence was found against Tauqeer Shah and Talha Burki, however, investigation was going on. The petitioners’ counsel contended that the accused were innocent and pleaded the court to confirm their bail. The court after hearing the arguments reserved its verdict on bail petitions.
The accused and four others had allegedly hatched a conspiracy to produce a false and fabricated intelligence report in a bid to create differences among the federal government, provincial government and judiciary.