Blasphemy case against prayer leader

Toba Tek Singh police on Friday registered a case against a prayer leader under section 298-A (use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of holy personages) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

According to the complainant, a prayer leader of the Jamia Masjid Madni Muhalla Irfat, the suspect tried to spread sectarianism by making blasphemous remarks against religious figures in addresses in the mosque.

While a case has been registered, no arrests have been made as of yet.

Jang Group Editor-in-Chief wins lawsuit

An Islamabad Additional District and Sessions court ordered one Tayyab Baloch of Bol TV to pay Rs. 100 million in damages to the Jang Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman in a defamation suit. Baloch was also directed to issue an acceptable apology to the plaintiff and refrain from making such defamatory remarks against the media owner and his organization.

The defendant had published a series of articles on foreign websites in which he accused Shakil-ur-Rahman of having an anti-state agenda and pushing propaganda in favour of PML-N leader Mian Nawaz Sharif. The Jang Group and Shakil-ur-Rahman filed a case under the Defamation Ordinance 2002, contending that their reputation suffered when prominent lawmakers and media personalities shared the articles.

The plaintiff maintained that Baloch was served two notices to which he did not respond. The Jang Group had also sent a legal notice to the director of the British website on which the defamatory articles were published, who after inquiry determined that allegations made in each of the articles “were false, malicious and fabricated”. The website director issued an unconditional apology to the plaintiff and removed said articles.

Following this, Baloch continued to publish articles slandering Shakil-ur-Rahman and the Jang Group on a Russian website.

PTI MNA allegedly hold journalist hostage

PTI MNA Kanwal Shauzab on Friday reportedly briefly held journalist and anchorperson Batool Rajpoot hostage at her home in a bid to have her delete the interview she had conducted with the parliamentarian.

Journalist Hamid Mir shared screenshots of messages he received from Rajpoot in which she said Shauzab was not letting her leave the house until she deleted the interview. She also texted that the MNA’s husband tried pressuring her management over the phone.

In response, Shauzab posted a video in which she rejected Rajpoot’s accusations, claiming that she was asked questions she did not want to answer and requested the journalist to delete the footage and start the interview over, however Rajpoot refused.

Shauzab argued that interviews should be conducted through mutual agreement, and that she did not consent to that specific interview being aired. She went on to claim that Rajpoot’s management threatened to lodge an FIR against her if she deleted the interview. Terming the incident harassment, the MNA also warned that if she was targeted, she would take the matter to the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Rajpoot also uploaded a video detailing her version of events, in which she claimed that the interview went smoothly up until the last two minutes where she asked Shauzab whether she condemned the harassment of journalists by official accounts of the PTI. The journalist said Shauzab accused her of being a planted agent and demanded that the entire interview be scrapped.

Rajpoot further stated that the MNA’s husband and other people of the household became involved, and that while the rest of her team were able to leave the house, Rajpoot was not allowed to leave until she wrote on a piece of paper that the interview would not be aired.

She said that after her situation was highlighted on social media, she was eventually let go with demands not to air the interview.

Journalists and media personalities condemned the incident.


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