CPNE, APNS con­cerned over Mir Sha­keel’s con­vic­tion

Pakistan Observer - - NATIONAL - STAFF RE­PORTER KARACHI—

The Pres­i­dent of the Coun­cil of Paki-stan News­pa­per Ed­i­tors (CPNE), Mu­jibur Rehman Shami and the Pres­i­dent of the All Pak­istan News-pa­pers So­ci­ety ( APNS), Hameed Ha­roon, have in a joint state­ment ex­pressed dis­may at the un­law­ful con­vic­tion of Mir Sha­keel ur Rehman, the Edi­torin- Chief of the Jang – Geo me­dia group and of as­so­ci­ated me­dia per­sons, by an anti- ter­ror­ism court at Gil­git – Baltistan.

They de­clare this con­vic­tion to be in­com­pat­i­ble with press free­doms en­shrined in Ar­ti­cle 19 of the Con­sti­tu­tion of Pak­istan and that the Gil­git-Baltistan (Em­pow­er­ment & Self- Gov­er­nance) Or­der, 2009 un­der which the ju­dica-ture of that ter­ri­tory has been set up, is vi­ola­tive of the fun­da­men­tal rights guar­an­teed to all Pak­istani cit­i­zens un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion.

They con­clude that: “the un­law­ful con­vic­tion of me­dia per­sons in Gil­git – Baltistan con­sti­tutes a ma­jor threat to the exis- tence of a free press through­out the coun­try.”

The joint state­ment fur­ther ex­plains that whereas some fun­da­men­tal rights had been con­ferred un­der the con­tro­ver­sial or­der, two ma­jor fun- da­men­tal rights en­joyed by cit­i­zens of Pak­istan un­der the 1973 Con­sti­tu­tion are no­tably miss­ing from this Or­der - th­ese be­ing the fun­da­men­tal rights en­shrined in Ar­ti­cles 10A and 13 of the Con­sti­tu­tion of Pak­istan.

It may be noted that Ar­ti­cle 10A pro­vides that in any crim­i­nal charge, a per­son shall be en­ti­tled to a fair trial and due process. Ar­ti­cle 13 guar­an­tees to all cit­i­zens of Pak­istan that “no per­son shall be pros­e­cuted.. for the same of­fence more than once”.

“Thus, if cit­i­zens of Pak­istan not res­i­dent or not even phys­i­cally present in the ter­ri­tory, were to be trans­ported for trial from Pak­istan to Gil­git-Baltistan for al­leged of­fences, such per­sons would be de­nied two im­por­tant fun­da­men­tal rights.”

QUETTA: Sup­port­ers of JUI-F stage a sit-in against killing of its Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Sindh, Khalid Mehmood Soomro, at Manan Chowk.

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