The legal system in action-Gilgit court issues ruling against GEO chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and celebrities
The Pakistan legal system was called into action again, taking strong measures against the media and broadcasting sector of the country. An anti-terrorism court handed out a sentence of 26 years imprisonment and RS1.3 million fines each for GEO chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, and celebrities Veena Malik and Shaista Lodhi, as well as Veena Malik’s husband Malik Asad.
The ruling came after Himayatullah Khan, president of religious party Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat’s Gilgit-Baltistan chapter, registered an FIR against GEO News for defaming Ahle Bait by playing a disrespectful Qawali on their morning show. A joint investigation team (JIT ) had been formed which had forwarded the case to the anti-terrorism court (ATC) after completing its investigations.
The FIR lodged against the accused claimed that GEO News was involved in hurting the sentiments of the members of a religious community. Strict action had been taken, with the ATC directing the police forces of all four provinces and Islamabad to carry out its orders and ensure that justice was served to all four offenders.
The Anti-Terrorism court had also communicated to the police forces to seize and sell property assets of all the accused offenders. They were all charged under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997.
While it is quite encouraging to see how active and efficient the Pakistan legal system remains in dealing with such serious matters, broadcasters and media in Pakistan must ensure that all content aired and published on their platforms is effectively moderated. It must be ensured that the material must not be targeting or offending any member of a community or any citizen of Pakistan.