Islamabad: A Pakistani court on Monday dismissed a case filed by the powerful military against a prominent human rights activist and lawyer after she allegedly used abusive words against Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir, the daughter of former human rights minister Shireen Mazari, had allegedly hurled abusive words against Bajwa after her mother was arrested from outside her house in a land ownership case last month.
A first information report (FIR) was filed against Mazari-Hazir on May 26 in Islamabad on the complaint of Lt Colonel Syed Humayun Iftikhtar, who was representing the Judge Advocate General (JAG) branch of the General Headquarters (GHQ).
She was booked under various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code for inciting people against armed forces and abetment of act of insubordination by soldier by making a “derogatory and hateful” statement on May 21.
Mazari-Hazir challenged the case in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), stating that the “FIR is ill-founded and allegations are absurd”.
During the hearing, Mazari-Hazir’s lawyer, Advocate Zainab Janjua, said her client had appeared for every interrogation on the court’s order. Janjua said she had submitted a detailed reply to police the same day, the Dawn reported.
The counsel further said her client had expressed “regret” over her words and accepted that “what happened should not have happened”.
The IHC, after hearing the argument, accepted the petition to dismiss the case against Mazari-Hazir.
During the hearing, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that Mazari-Hazir was a respectable officer of the court and should not have uttered the words even under “normal circumstances”.
“If the petitioner asks for forgiveness, what is left in the case?” he questioned.
However, the counsel for the JAG branch argued that the word forgiveness was not mentioned even once in the reply submitted by Mazari-Hazir. “If she has to apologise, she should do so in front of the media,” he added.
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