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IHC issues notices to Geo, ARY, Amjad Sabri in blasphemy case

Published May 19, 2014 01:56pm

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— File photo
— File photo

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Monday during the hearing over a blasphemy petition filed by the Shuhada Foundation issued notices to all those party to the case, DawnNews reported.

The court while adjourning the hearing over the petition to an unspecified date, issued notices to Federal Information Secretary, chief executive of ARY, anchors Mubashir Lucman, Nida Yasir and Shaisata Lodhi, Amjad Sabri Qawwal, poet Aqeel Mohsin Naqvi, chairman of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) and Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) and Chairman Cable Operators Association of Pakistan.

In his petition, advocate Tariq Asad, said that the issue of alleged blasphemy in a Geo morning show was being highlighted only to target the Geo group, and what occurred in the morning show had been carried out by other media houses but no action was taken against them.

He requested the court to take action against other channels who had engaged in the same activity as Geo.

Advocate Asad said that he was not specifically in favour of Geo and had also filed petitions against the group in the past, adding that he only sought to curb any wrongdoing.

He further said that anchor Mubashir Lucman was engaged in a character assassination campaign against former chief justice of Pakistan Justice (r) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

The petition also put the onus on Qawwal Amjad Sabri and poet Aqeel Mohsin Naqvi for the blasphemy row while seeking to ban the Qawaali that caused the issue.

An FIR had been registered by the police on Saturday against Geo TV channel owner Mir Shakeelur Rehman, its morning programme host Shaista Lodhi, actress Veena Malik and her husband Asad Bashir Khattak.

The case was registered under PPC’s sections 295-A [deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs], 295-C [use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of the Prophet (PBUH) ] and 298-A [use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of holy personages]. The suspects were also booked under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act [punishment for terrorist act].

The already deeply worrying events in the media landscape have taken a frightening turn with the reaction in several quarters to the Geo morning entertainment show debacle.

The Geo programme, Utho Jago Pakistan, made a critical error of judgement by trying to fuse sensitive religious material with crass entertainment.

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Comments (63) Closed



Karachi Guy May 19, 2014 02:13pm

Now this is a just petition: "In his petition, advocate Tariq Asad, said that the issue of alleged blasphemy in a Geo morning show was being highlighted only to target the Geo group, and what occurred in the morning show had been carried out by other media houses but no action was taken against them."

Exactly, that was what I was thinking from day one! Good day to you Tariq Asad. Best of Luck.

Shahzad Ahmed May 19, 2014 02:20pm

But Geo has crossed the red line and it should be punished with a life time ban for huring sentiments of millions of pakistanis.

Awais May 19, 2014 02:23pm

Good work Tariq Asad. All the others should also be brought in court for the wrong doings

sadaf May 19, 2014 02:25pm

v good..everything was started by ARY but target is only geo..so now ARY should suffer what they did .hope high court take some action agaainst mubashar luqman .A spot on anchors face.

Anwaar May 19, 2014 02:25pm

Death of Pakistan ....

Kashif Shahzad May 19, 2014 02:26pm

Framing ARY for this is out of way, ARY as patriotic Pakistani channel showed the clips to get public attention towards the menace caused by GEO network. If ARY is charged with any of those cases, it will be obvious that truth is rewarded by punishment in Pakistan.

zak May 19, 2014 02:35pm

Why ARY- they are highlighting GEO TV/Jhang groups foreign funded agenda. Don't even put them in the same category, One is a patriot the other a traitor. Mubashir Luqman is a hero, fighting Pakistan's corner against the enemies of Pakistan.

Mirza May 19, 2014 02:35pm

I have reservations about other channels being dragged into this controversy. What other channels aired was with the intention of highlighting to their viewers the grave mistake committed by GEO. It is exactly the same scenario when Mubashir Lucman and Meher Abbasi were framed in an interview with Malik Riaz on Duniya TV. All the channels aired that clip over and over again. That, too, was just to expose to their viewership the plot.

As talking of character assassination of Iftikhar Chaudry, Mubashir Lucman has provided ample proofs of his wrong doings and that of his son. No one is and should not be treated as above the law.

jami May 19, 2014 02:35pm

How much favor you (Govt & PEMRA) shall receive from state power like this kangaroo courts. 100% lower courts run under the influence of administration, 50% - 60% higher courts are under the influence of administration. Current and last Ch justices and judges are obligated to serve their patron, Mr. Nazwaz Sharif.

shahid May 19, 2014 02:38pm

Retaliation of Geo and in doing so, ARY Management & Mubshar Luqman is targeted who are in front line of Geo opposition. In addition, Chairman Cable operator is also targeted who was showing great opposition against Geo....

Sayyid A Abbas Shirazi May 19, 2014 02:48pm

the notorious act of blasphemy of Ahl e Bait e Rasool A.S in a morning show may prove to be the last nail in the coffin of Jeem Group, I, However must say here that in this entire episode which drove out all Sunni, Shia parties on street must not be given any sectarian color. The Qasida

Taimur May 19, 2014 02:49pm

If GEO and all others involved do not get punished then it would mean that blasphemy law was invented just to victimize minorities and Muslims have the right to carry out blasphemy.

Shafiq Khan May 19, 2014 02:54pm

@Shahzad Ahmed So you are the judge and the legislator . Why aren't you happy with the law of the land?

darkhorse May 19, 2014 02:54pm

@Kashif Shahzad open ur mind.... ye ghalti sab sy pehly ARY ny hi ki thi... 4 month pehly... ARY ny wo Qawalli 3 dafa progrrame main chali hai.... ghalti to ARY ki hai... na wo ye kaam shuru krta na baki Channels ye krty..... ap ki soch ko salam

Atif Ali May 19, 2014 02:56pm

@Kashif Shahzad ARY played same qawali on their morning show long before GEO as did Samma TV. Its only fair that if GEO is going to face punishment they should, too.

Hassam Tahir May 19, 2014 03:19pm

@Kashif Shahzad so When the cartoons against Our prophet were republished in newspapers around the world they were right to do it? they were only showing what had happened right?

Iqbal May 19, 2014 03:23pm

I do not understand what

tab May 19, 2014 03:24pm

Actually it is a brilliant idea - close down both GEO and ARY - there will be so much sakoon...we will be back to normal selves, back from the doomsday

NS May 19, 2014 03:30pm

"....seeking to ban the Qawaali that caused the issue."

Really? Why dragging qawwali and poets in this war?

Next we know, someone may file petition to ban Ghalib!

SAP May 19, 2014 03:31pm

Seems like PML-N "sponsored" petitions!

Ganga Din May 19, 2014 03:35pm

@Anwaar

Not so fast. Take it easy.

mansoor May 19, 2014 03:40pm

Ever widening reach of the noose of blasphemy.

Common Man May 19, 2014 03:40pm

Its a War of ratings no channel has any concerned with common people. The Seth culture of our media groups destroying this society. This is the time government should re define code of conducts with proper consensus avoid any confrontation, along with this establishment should not interfere any government matters. It is elected government mandate to fabricate foreign policy along with internal policy. It is too easy to quote any group " traitor" same as previously ayub khan claimed for Ms.Fahtima Jinnah and have manny examples of such kind. Jazbati Qoom hai Yeh Demagh Use kerna shoro kerday sub sahe hojai ga !

Hamza May 19, 2014 04:14pm

@Kashif Shahzad ARY was the first news channel to commit this same blasphemy. It was 4 months ago that they played this same Qawwali in their morning show, that is why Nida Yasir has been issued the notice too. If Geo is being punished for this then the same should apply to ARY and Samaa. And ARY is a patriotic channel that is why they "exposed" Geo? Yeah right! A media war is what this is, one which has taken an ugly turn. As the second largest TV network of Pakistan after Geo, ARY will benefit the most from the closure of Geo as will other channels. Everyone benefits when the biggest player is eliminated from the game.

MAyOr May 19, 2014 04:18pm

@Kashif Shahzad its a menace started by ARY.. mubashir lucman should be held responsible for trying to incite violence against GEO.. who is going to be responsible if any worker of GEO or any property of GEO is vandalized ??

Altaf Hussain Rizvi May 19, 2014 04:19pm

ARY and Mubashir Luqman will now taste their own medicine!

Altaf Hussain Rizvi May 19, 2014 04:21pm

@Kashif Shahzad and @ Zak Probably you don't know that ARY aired this qawali four times during it's own morning shows. They are rightly implicated in this case.

sab May 19, 2014 05:00pm

If this is blasphemy then blasphemy is committed at all marriages where religious songs are belted out all the time. Repeal this law its brings out the the worst in humans that too for a GOD who is kind and merciful.

Agha Ata May 19, 2014 05:46pm

Rhythm is going to get everyone. Now even courts are involved in blasphemy accusations.

AdHawk May 19, 2014 06:00pm

This is what happens when we make laws to protect 'sentiments'. You can get away with murder in Pakistan, but do not try singing.

TooTrue May 19, 2014 07:09pm

Light comic relief from the Islamic Republic. The only problem in Pakistan is rampant blasphemy, which dwarfs all other concerns. We are ready to kill each other based on what was said and when.

Bizmark May 19, 2014 07:19pm

So going by these standards the time is not far when we will have all women required to appear in TV as per Zia regime laws.

Nadeem May 19, 2014 07:52pm

@zak Justice said, same mistakes have been done by other channels. They should be punished too for their wrong doing, if it 's PTV, ARY, HUM or any other TV channel

Sajjad May 19, 2014 08:29pm

We need to grow up some. Really, we have become a laughing stock of the world because our "sentiments" are so fragile. It is so easy for anyone to make us so enraged that we are ready to burn down our own house and kill each other because of hurt "sentiments."

In this case, seems like a perfect storm is being orchestrated against Geo. The citizens should be careful not to fall prey to the designs of those engineering this perfect storm. This should not give anyone an excuse to silence or coerce the media. That would be a much bigger loss than some hurt "sentiments."

If Geo has apologized then that should be enough.

Jamal May 19, 2014 08:47pm

Please, stop invoking blasphemy at the slightest pretex. It cheapens the whole concept, clogs up the courts and punishes indiscriminately. Blasphemy laws should be abolished and those who run to the courts at each little infraction in their view should concentrate on education and persuasion. These laws have caused enough disruption in society. We need to preach tolerance to create a civil society.

Sohrab May 19, 2014 09:47pm

Soon everything in Pakistan is going to be tried under blasphemy laws; all debates, all contradictory points of views, all trade deals, all promotions, all land grabbing. Lets continue in the best of these traditions and see where it is going to take us in a few years.

Mohammad Asghar May 19, 2014 09:47pm

@Shahzad Ahmed Forgiveness is better than revenge.

BinHuur May 19, 2014 10:46pm

@Shahzad Ahmed If the sentiments of millions of Pakistanis have been hurt - well, they should learn to control their sentiments, which have ruined the country for a long time now!

saleem May 19, 2014 11:23pm

when nations are at their lowest they are worried more of their egos and "honor" then the reason which led to this debacle

Zakria May 20, 2014 02:30am

Pakistan has become a country of sick minded people, which is controlled by fanatic mullahs. Why these mullahs and organizations do not come out to protest, when small girls are raped by rich or sick minded people. Don't these mullahs know, the recent incident of raping a 12th grade girl in a car by a mullah who is running a religious madrassa in Islamabad. If a little common sense has left with that nation, then they should know that poetry is always a metaphorical sayings, and it is always use to just give good examples, to show nice connections and meanings. If the Qawalii would have say that Veena Malik's husband seems like a killer or a robber and Veena itself seems like a goat etc, then there would have been no protest. Come on Pakistani public, open your eyes and brain please, if a little has left . Establishment and an agency has spread all this spidernet against Geo and Jang due to their personal revenge. Why are we so simple or foolish and dumb that we do not understand? Why these mullas and most organizations do not protest when Christians, Hindus, Ahmadis and other innocent people are killed in Pakistan for no reason? Why don't we implement blasphemy laws upon those killers, even though we know them, and also upon these mullas who emotionalize public in their open speeches to kill innocent minorities. Why are we so emotional to implement blasphemy laws on this small issue? It can be forgiven very easily, especially when they are already apologizing. Thank's God I had left that (blessed) country long time ago. Allah bless America. We are practicing much better Islam in the US and we are practicing it freely than that so-called Islamic country, Pakistan. Islam is the religion of peace, love and harmony. Is that real Islam, which we are practicing in Pakistan? Please, think about it. May God give wisdom to that nation, amen.

Saleem May 20, 2014 05:14am

Two statements in article make no sense.

1: How can anyone do character assassination of someone who has no character?

2: How can anyone put onus on Amjad Sabri or Aqeel Mohsin. Mohsin poetry only shows aqeedat, love and respect of the family of Prophet (SAW) ... and Amjad Sabri gave his voice to that aqeedat, love and respect.

I think Tariq Asad should not beat the bush with stick blindly but think before making any petition plea or accusations.

khanm May 20, 2014 10:17am

@Karachi Guy.... Geo is an easy target because of their political opinions.. opinion is like a mouth every one has one..

khanm May 20, 2014 10:21am

@Shahzad Ahmed... if it is the truth then one should not care if it hurts the sentiments of millions...I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.

khanm May 20, 2014 10:25am

@Kashif Shahzad ...who what so ever is framing should realize that we are not permitted to choose the frame of our destiny. But what we put into it is ours.

khanm May 20, 2014 10:39am

Are we a sensationalist nation. Why are having a media trial on media. let the court decide the guilty ones. Opinion are opinions and at time are thought provoking this is what journalism is all about. when are we going to be a tolerant society.Public opinion is the thermometer only a monarch/ dictators should constantly consult and should not be by the democratic government..

A Pakistani May 20, 2014 12:47pm

@Shahzad Ahmed What are those redlines and who uses them to protect its self-proclaimed authority? GEO, ARY, ...........................

A Pakistani May 20, 2014 12:48pm

@Anwaar Nonsense

A Pakistani May 20, 2014 12:55pm

No one should act as Judge. Now the matter is in court. Let them decide.

Pragmatist May 20, 2014 06:54pm

Although the words of the Qawali in this program are not justified for ordinary people but it should have been ignored as a stupidity by a few ill informed performers. There is no need to blow the issue out of proportion.

M K Sufi May 20, 2014 08:08pm

We are going through crises after crises - Security issues, Agencies/military issues, Taliban issues, election issues, power issues, ethnic issues and the latest is the blasphemy issues. I hope better sense prevails and each of us Pakistani, whatever s/he is doing work for the Glory of our Country.

Muhammad May 20, 2014 08:38pm

@zak ARY also aired the same qawaali in a program of their's hosted by Nida Yasir. So why shud they be pardoned for that?

M May 21, 2014 05:06am

all the media channels be it ARY or Geo or whatever, must be brought back in line with moral and ethical code of Islam. thats right islam! this country was made because we wanted an islamic state. now what we have an immoral and unethical state where corruption, vulgarisim (fahashi) is rampant. the leaders of Deen are quiet on most of these shows and what is shown in media in general. why?

i hope and pray that out of this some good comes out and all media is subjected to harsh penalties for breaking the code. some of the themes and content shown in these morning shows and dramas in general is shocking to say the least. bring "modernism" and "immorality" in pakistan's culture and youth and let them do the rest!

sharouk May 21, 2014 06:14am

I am seething with Anger. These people, the damned 'QAWALS" should REALLY be tried for BLASPHEMY. The bride and groom should also be condemned for their acceptance of this Sacrilegious Parody. I am sure all of the Muslims who saw this, are outraged. I cannot Fathom, a woman with Veena Malik's Sordid past could even be mentioned in the same sentence as Bibi Fatima Zahira. Muslims all over the world very are sensitive to disrespect towards their religious personalities. Had something similar happened here in America, the TV station would have been burnt down.

sharouk May 21, 2014 09:50am

@sharouk correction: ..are very..

Ahmed May 21, 2014 10:32am

Although GEO has made serious mistake.But ARY ,Express news etc arenot doing any favor to Islam or this nation by going after Geo.They are doing it to settle scores ,its because of the greed of owners and the influence which agencies have on these channels. We should stop watching all Pakistani news channels as our media is apparently full of people having petty minds and they bring no good for this poor nation.

vam May 21, 2014 10:37am

What are your and likes of yours sentiments by the way?

sri May 21, 2014 11:50am

Geo was the only good channel in pak. even that's gone.. Pak is slowly going to be finished because of islam.

sri May 21, 2014 12:01pm

I am hindu, but even my blood boils when I listen to the qawwali. I think not just geo but also ary tv should be put to the sword. also veena mailk and all those who sat there and danced. Better still, send all those women to india , esp Punjab and Haryana where they will be taken care of to have a miserable life as a punishment ( remember that punab and haryan have only 800 girls for 1000 males.)

A Rehman May 21, 2014 12:52pm

@Anwaar Actually, awakening of Pakistan.

A Pakistani May 21, 2014 01:08pm

@sri I fully agree.

A Pakistani May 21, 2014 01:11pm

@sri Isn't it too much.Let us give space to courts to pass on their judgment regarding this matter.

Tahir Amjad May 21, 2014 03:06pm

@Shahzad Ahmed we are driven by the war between two media groups. And overlooking the blasphamous poetry. Nabi k ghar ki larki is understandable but what about Allah k ghar ka larka ??? What does it mean.I love shed a Ali (Ra).but I can not swallow this thing Malik arz o sama ka ???? Ye to bass Allah hi hai .koi air nahin ho sakta.

Rash May 22, 2014 04:05pm

@Shahzad Ahmed

Looks like Pakistanis are very easily offended.