Pakistan: The Supreme Court on Wednesday recommended that persons, issuing edict or fatwa, harming others, must be dealt with under the Anti-Terrorism Act and ruled that all intelligence agencies must not exceed their respective mandate, it was reported by The News International.
A two-member bench of the apex court comprising Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Mushir Alam disposed of a suo motu case of the 2017 Faizabad sit-in staged by the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and issued a detailed judgment. Last year in November, the court had reserved its judgment.
The judgment authored by Justice Qazi Faiz Isa ruled that a person issuing an edict or fatwa, which harms others or puts others in harm’s way, must be criminally prosecuted under the Pakistan Penal Code, the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 and/or the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016. The verdict observed that the law applies equally to the government and state institutions.
The court ruled that intelligence agencies should monitor activities of all those who threaten the territorial integrity of the country and all those who undermine the security of the people and the state by resorting to or inciting violence. The verdict said the role of agencies in foreign countries is clear.
“To best ensure transparency and the rule of law, it would be appropriate to enact laws which clearly stipulate the respective mandates of the intelligence agencies,” the verdict ruled.
The court also directed the federal and provincial governments to monitor those advocating hate, extremism and terrorism and prosecute the perpetrators in accordance with the law. It directed its office to send copies of this judgment for information and compliance to the Government of Pakistan, through the cabinet secretary, secretary defence, secretary interior, secretary human rights, secretary religious affairs and interfaith harmony, secretary information, the chief secretaries of the provinces, the Election Commission of Pakistan, Pemra, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and the chief commissioner of Islamabad.