ISLAMABAD: The federal government will soon name a commission to probe the May 21 arrest of Pakis­tan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Dr Shireen Mazari, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) was told on Monday by Additional Attorney General Sohail Mehmood.

The IHC had termed unlawful the arrest of Dr Mazari in a land case registered with the Anti-Corru­ption Establishment (ACE) and directed the federal government to constitute a judicial commission to conduct an inquiry.

The court held that since Dr Mazari is a member of parliament, she cannot be arrested without permission from the National Assembly Speaker. She has neither been denotified by the ECP nor has the Speaker accepted her resignation so far, the IHC said. The court order had asked the authorities concerned to ascertain how Shireen Maz­ari was arr­ested without going thro­ugh the stipulated procedure.

Chief Justice Athar Min­allah observed that “this incident is not the first of its kind. Abuse of power by state functionaries leading to illegal and unlawful deprivation of the rights to liberty has remained rampant despite consistent observations made by this court.

“Law enforcement agencies, for reasons best known to them, have failed to make perpetrators of crime accountable”.

The court ordered the federal government to investigate “consistent abuse of pow­­er by public functionaries” and hold the “perpetrators of crime” accountable.

Published in Dawn, May 31st, 2022

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