ISLAMABAD: Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar on Monday assured journalists that the government believes in freedom of expression and he will take the case of their manhandling on the premises of Islamabad High Court (IHC) to the logical end.

Speaking at the oath-taking ceremony of the office-bearers of Islamabad High Court Journalists Association (IHCJA), Mr Tarar condemned the Feb 28 incident in which police officials deployed inside the IHC manhandled court reporters.

“I will talk to Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and you will see the result within 24 hours.”

He said the executive was responsible to maintain law and order within and outside the court premises, adding: “Being part of executive, I accept the responsibility and am tendering an apology.”

He congratulated the newly-elected office-bearers of the IHCJA as well as the newly-elected Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA) President Naveed Malik and Secretary Rizwan Shabbir Kayani.

Senior journalist Hamid Mir on the occasion and reminded the minister that the same journalists who had been manhandled during the appearance of former prime minister Imran Khan in the IHC by the police were previously covering the cases of PML-N leadership including Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz.

Advocate General Islamabad Barrister Jahangir Khan Jadoon condemned the incident and criticised the district administration and police over it.

Meanwhile, the minister for interior speaking at a press conference promised that a case would be registered against the officials responsible for manhandling the court reporters.

He said the case would be registered on the completion of an inquiry, adding the report will be submitted to the court.

Published in Dawn, March 7th, 2023

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