Islamabad High Court (IHC) has quashed an FIR against lawyer and rights activist Imaan Mazari registered on Pakistan Army’s complaint over charges of ‘derogatory’ remarks against top military leadership.
During a hearing held today (Monday), IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah dismissed the case against her after she showed ‘regret’ over her remarks, and said that on account of being a respectable officer of the court, she should not have uttered those words even under ‘normal circumstances’.
An FIR was registered against Imaan on the complaint of Lt. Col. Humayun Iftikhar who was representing the Pakistan Army, claiming that she had made a ‘derogatory’ statement on May 21 against the army and its senior leadership outside the IHC, when her mother Shireen Mazari was arrested from outside her residence.
As per Imaan’s recorded statement, she said she was under a lot of stress when the remarks being referred to in the FIR were made, seeing as how her mother had just been abducted, and therefore the comments made were purely unintentional.
The FIR against Imaan was registered under under Pakistan Penal Codes 138 (Abetment of act of insubordination by soldier, sailor or airman) and 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief).
Imaan’s lawyer, Advocate Zainab Janjua said that her client had cooperated fully with the court and law enforcement agencies, and had appeared for every interrogation on the court’s order.
She further said that her client had expressed ‘regret’ over her words and accepted that ‘what happened should not have happened’.
At which the Chief Justice replied, “If the petitioner asks for forgiveness, what is left in the case?”
The representative for the army objected and said that the word ‘forgiveness’ was not mentioned anywhere in Imaan’s statement, adding, “If she has to apologise, she should do so in front of the media.”
However the Chief Justice accepted Imaan’s petition for the dismissal of the case and quashed the FIR.