Religious leaders condemn govt for victimising Jang-Geo Group

LAHORE: Religious leaders have continued condemning the government for victimizing Jang/Geo Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman for speaking truth and criticizing the PTI government’s anti-people policies.

JUP President Shah Awais Noorani said the Jang/Geo Group has always been patriotic and stood up for democracy throughout history while many governments in the past leveled baseless allegations of being traitor against it but never proved it. He warned the PTI government against suppressing the media and Jang/Geo Group for its own benefit, or it would suffer further notoriety in the future. He was sure Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman would never surrender before authorities and the government should immediately release him and withdraw a baseless case against him.

MYC Chairman and President of JUP-Noorani Dr Zubair said the government is strangling the voice of media to avoid criticism against its policies. He warned that the government is fast moving towards its immature end and provoking needless hatred against itself by using the NAB against political opponents and the media, despite that the supreme court and the high courts have already declared the NAB a tool for political victimization.

JUP Vice Chairman Pir Mahfooz Mashadi and Secretary General Mohammad Leghari termed Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s arrest a clear victimization by the PTI government using NAB as a tool. They said the PTI government has proved the worst in the country’s history regarding suppressing media freedom. Jamiat Ahle Hadith Pakistan (JAHP) Karachi President Qari Khalilur Rehman Javed warned that victimizing anybody on baseless charges is strictly prohibited in Islam and government agencies should have verified and checked allegations against Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

Member CII and Principal Jamia Naeemia Lahore Raghib Naeemi said the CII has already presented certain important recommendations to the government regarding the working of the NAB, which were never implemented. He demanded that the government immediately implement those recommendations to prevent the spreading of political chaos in the society. He warned that the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman would not deter his family or his organization from criticizing the government or promoting democratic values in the country.

Member Muttahida Ulema Board Dr Sarfraz Awan said the arrest is a political move of the government to avert growing criticism of its failed policies and the mess it has created in all departments of the governance in the country. Muttahida Ulema Council Secretary General Maulana Abdul Rauf Farooqi said Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman must not be treated like a petty criminal and should be treated with justice like all respected elite of the country.

Islami Jamhoori Ittehad President Allama Zubair Ahmad Zaheer said the misuse of the NAB as a victimization tool by the PTI government has not only brought economic activities in the country to a standstill but also halted all development schemes, causing serious problems for the prosperity of the country and people.

Tanzim Ittehad Ummat (TIU) Chairman Ziaul Haq Naqshbandi said Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s arrest amounts to arresting the truth and rightfulness, and the PTI government and its advisors must realize that weakening the fourth pillar of the state would only weaken the state.

All Sects Ulema Board President Maulana Asim Makhdoom said arresting the head of the largest media group of the country on baseless charges has seriously damaged the image of the country and its journalism in the world.

Ulema Mashaikh Rabita Council President Dr Badar Munir Mujaddedi Saifi termed the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman hooliganism of the PTI and the NAB. Sunni Tehreek Lahore President Sardar Tahir Dogar said instead of arresting influential thieves and criminals, the NAB is acting as a government agent to victimize its opponents, creating an atmosphere of fear in the country. Tahaffuz Namoos Risalat Mahaz (TNRM) Secretary Muhammad Ali Naqshbandi said the PTI must remember that the freedom of media guaranteed the freedom of the country and the society. He warned that the PTI government must refrain from further victimization of opponents, which has been creating chaos in the country.