AG’s reply forwarded to Dawn editor
ISLAMABAD- Chief justice of Pakistan Irshad Hassan Khan, forwarded a reply submitted by. Attorney-General Aziz A. Munshi on Dawn’s complaint to the editor of the newspaper.
While forwarding the government’s reply to the complainant, the chief justice also directed the editor, Dawn to file a replication within four weeks.
Dawn had filed a written complaint to the Supreme Court about a raid conducted jointly by the Army Monitoring Team and KESC officials at its offices in Karachi. The chief justice had sought a detailed reply from the attorney-general on this issue which was filed by the latter on Monday.
Mr Munshi, in a written reply, had stated that the action by the Army Monitoring Team and KESC officials against Dawn had been taken in good faith and in accordance with the law and that the federation was not privy to any violation of fundamental rights.
The attorney-general, who had submitted the government’s reply after the issuance of a stern warning by the apex court, had reaffirmed the government’s commitment to the freedom of the press and freedom of expression.
Mr Munshi said that the electricity being consumed by Pakistan Herald Publications in excess of sanctioned load had to be regularized. Moreover, he had also raised a question regarding the jurisdiction of the apex court to take cognizance of a matter of power supply.
Earlier, Pakistan Herald Publications, in its letter to the CJ on Sept 29 last, had informed him about a raid by the Army Monitoring Team along with KESC officials on its offices on Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road, Karachi.
It stated that environment for press freedom was worsening in Pakistan and the government was finding it difficult to live with a free and independent press. It was further stated that the military government had become hostile towards any criticism and the hostility had manifested itself under various guises, in particular against Dawn Group of Newspapers, Pakistan’s largest independent English-language newspaper and magazine publishing house.
Taking note of the matter, the CJ had ordered the AG to submit a report within two weeks. After submitting an “interim report”, the AC had failed to submit a detailed report and the chief justice had to issue a stern warning to him that if he failed to submit a detailed report within a week, the case would be fixed in the open court and it might be decided ex parte.