LAHORE: A Lahore High Court full bench will hear next week a petition seeking action against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif – for allegedly trying to defame state institutions – and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi – for allegedly disclosing minutes of a National Security Council’s (NSC) meeting to the former premier.

A civil society member, Amina Malik, filed the petition through Advocate Azhar Siddique pleading that the disqualified premier had on May 11 during his interview to an English daily delivered a statement implying that those who carried out the Mumbai attacks belonged to Pakistan. She said this allegedly anti-state statement could give be misused by the enemies of the nation to get protection from laws of the land.

The petitioner further contended that a meeting of the NSC was held to discuss the “misleading” statement of the disqualified prime minister, and after the meeting Prime Minister Abbasi had met Sharif and conveyed to him the concerns of the military leadership. She contended that the act of PM Abbasi was a clear violation of his oath as he was bound not to allow his personal interest to influence his official conduct.

She pleaded that Sharif committed sedition by rejecting the statement of the NSC and was liable for action as directed in the Constitution as well as in PPC.

The petitioner asked the court to take stern action against Nawaz Sharif for trying to defame the state and state institutions through alleged anti-state interviews, and also against the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority for allowing broadcast of such stuff.

She also sought action against Prime Minister Abbasi for violating his oath by disclosing the minutes of the NSC meeting and details to Sharif.

A full bench headed by Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi would take up the petition on Tuesday. The bench is already seized with petitions against alleged anti-judiciary speeches by certain politicians of PML-N.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2018