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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday admitted a petition seeking a ban on the live speeches of PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif besides initiating criminal proceedings against him for his remarks over the Mumbai attacks.

Justice Aamer Farooq sought reply from the director general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), chairmen Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on the petition filed by a local lawyer through Advocate Babar Awan, a leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

Editorial: After Nawaz's remarks, could the pressure on PML-N lead to a rupture in the party?

Arguing before the court, Mr Awan said the statement of Mr Sharif amounted to disrespect for the Constitution and treason.

It also calls for criminal proceedings against former PM for Mumbai-attack remarks

Justice Farooq asked whether the court could impose a ban on someone making speeches.

In reply, the counsel said there was a precedent as the Lahore High Court (LHC) had already banned broadcasting of speeches by Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain.

The petition stated that Mr Sharif on May 3 during his appearance before the accountability court had threatened to reveal some national secrets.

After his removal as the prime minister, Mr Sharif is disgruntled and annoyed with all state institutions.

The former prime minister, being sponsored by the federal and Punjab governments, is using facilities and resources of the state to promote his anti-state agenda under different banners and styles.

It said the act of Mr Sharif amounted to provoking the enemies of Pakistan to take coercive measures against the state of Pakistan.

The petition requested the court to direct the FIA to initiate legal proceedings against Mr Sharif after registering an FIR.

Pemra may be directed to bar TV channels from broadcasting such statements and PTA should remove content from the social media that is against national institutions.

PTI activists staged a demonstration

PTI activists staged a demonstration in Muzaffarabad on Tuesday calling for initiation of a treason case against the former prime minister “for jeopardising national security in collusion with forces inimical to the very existence of Pakistan.”

The protesters were led by their regional president Barrister Sultan Mahmood, senior vice president Khawaja Farooq Ahmed, vice president Sardar Tabarak and others.

They said Mr Sharif’s statement had provided an opportunity to the enemies of Pakistan to launch vicious propaganda against the country.

Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2018