Sindh lawyers won’t accept ban on Geo, Jang Group
SUKKUR: The High Court Bar Association, Sukkur, District Bar Association, Sukkur, and district bar associations of Khairpur, Ghotki and Naushero Feroze on Tuesday pledged to stand by Geo and the Jang Group if any illegal move against the group was initiated.
President High Court Bar Association, Sukkur, Qurban Mallano, said the lawyers believe in freedom of expression given by the Constitution of Pakistan to every citizen of the country. He said lawyers believe in the freedom of institutions. He said that the murderous attack on Hamid Mir was an attack on the freedom of expression and the attackers should be punished. He said that the SHCBA will protect the journalists and their institutions. He said they will never accept any illegal move of Pemra to put a ban on the Jang Group and Geo TV.
Renowned Sindh lawyers Shabir Ahmed Shar, expressing his views, said Pemra had no authority to ban the Geo TV and the Jang Group. He said that if someone has concerns, he should go to court and let the court decide the matter.
He said the freedom of expression could not be digested by some forces and once again they were attempting to snatch such right from citizens. He said the print as well as electronic media was pursuing the professional code of ethics and was not going against the ethical standards. Shabir said the media had played and was playing its pivotal role in re-strengthening of the democratic institutions. He said that the proposal of banning the Geo TV and Jang Group was illegal and unconstitutional. He said lawyers had pledged to fight against such persons who were attempting to control the right of expression.
President District Bar Association, Sukkur, Shafqat Rahim, said that from 1943 to 2007, ‘one pillar’ which was dictators suppressed the voice of freedom, but the ex-chief justice of Pakistan had broken the status quo. He said in the restoration of judges, journalists had played a pivotal role, so in such tough times they will never leave the journalists alone and they will stage protests as well as provide free legal assistance for the cause of journalists.
President District Bar Association, Khairpur, Shafqat Mahaisar, regretted the divisions within the media over the Hamid Mir issue. He opined that such divisions could help those institutions which really wanted to control the media groups. He said Hamid Mir was an asset of the country and the attack on him was an attack on the whole nation. He said it was the democratic and legal right of any person to expose his suspected attackers.
Senior Vice President, DBA Khairpur, and president People’s Lawyers Forum, district Khairpur, Manzoor Hassan Larik, said democracy stands on the media and credit goes to the media for restoration of the freedom of expression, which was suppressed by particular institutions. He said the fact is that the media recognised itself as an institution for holding accountability of the institutions. He said Hamid Mir had taken up the issue of missing persons and in this case he paid a price. He said this is a century of access to information, so it is difficult for any institution to suppress the voice of any independent institution. Every institution is accountable, he said.
Manzoor Hassan said if any institution has a grievance with Geo TV and Jang Group, they could go to court but no illegal move will be tolerated by the lawyers as well as civil society.Ali Asghar Panhyar, president District Bar Association, Ghotki, said that in the presence of judicial activism, the active civil society and lawyers, no one could dare impose a ban on the media. He said Musharraf had committed such an irreparable mistake. “We advise Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif to play his role in a ceasefire between the institutions.” He demanded a fair investigation in the issue of attack on Hamid Mir.
Arbab Chandio, president District Bar Association, Naushero Feroze, said he personally loves Geo TV and Jang Group. He said that institutions will have to accept the reality instead of reacting illegally and in an undemocratic way. He said at least lawyers will not accept the ban on Geo TV and Jang Group. He said developing pressure on the group with the registration of so-called FIRs was illegal. He said such practice should stop.