LAHORE: Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Omar Ayub Khan on Tuesday rejected the Punjab government’s defamation law, saying the people cannot be deprived of the constitutional rights.

“The state means the country, not any institution,” he asserted addressing a gathering hosted by Insaf Lawyers Forum in the Lahore High Court Bar.

Mr Ayub said oppressive and tyrannical laws were being enacted to silence the voices of the people. He said the opposition would raise their voice in the parliament against the oppressive laws. The opposition leader praised the judges of the Islamabad High Court, who wrote a letter about alleged intimidation by intelligence agencies.

He said the current government of ‘Form 47’ had no legitimacy and it would be swept away by the people’s tide.

Mr Ayub expressed regret that the farmers had enough wheat, but the government purchased it from abroad. He said a similar scandal of rice might emerge in the coming days.

Former Sindh provincial opposition leader Firdous Shamim Naqvi said that establishing the rule of law in the country was not easy. He said that slogans alone cannot bring about the rule of law, but the fate of the country can only be changed through parliament.

Naqvi lamented that the Punjab government was not appointing judges nominated by the LHC chief justice. He said the government should not have the authority to appoint judges.

ILF President Ishtiaq A Khan said the forum would continue to play its role in upholding the supremacy of the Constitution and the law.

He expressed his gratitude to PTI founding chairman Imran Khan for placing trust in him. He asserted that Imran Khan was innocent and had been wrongfully imprisoned.

BAIL: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) judge on Tuesday extended pre-arrest bail of National Assembly Opposition Leader Omar Ayub Khan, Fawad Chaudhry, Asad Umar, Azam Swati and two sisters of the former prime minister Imran Khan in cases of the May 9 riots.

The PTI leaders appeared before the court on expiry of their bail in the case.

Judge Arshad Javed expressed displeasure over the prosecution for not presenting the record of the cases.

The judge adjourned the hearing till June 29.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2024

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