July 13, 2022
ISLAMABAD—Prominent ARY News anchor Arshad Sharif has written a letter to President Dr. Arif Alvi highlighting the threats to his life.
He shared the Twitter posts of journalists, including Imran Riaz Khan, and Arif Hameed Bhatti, warning Sharif and other journalists of severe attacks.
In the letter, Sharif wrote: "As investigative journalist who was conferred Pride of Performance for Investigative Journalism by the State of Pakistan in 2019, I bring to your kind notice that an attempt is being made by certain unscrupulous elements to target and illegally restrain the undersigned from exercising rights and duties ensured by Article 4, Article 9, Article 10 A, Article 14, Article 18, Article 19 and 19 A of the Constitution of Pakistan."
"As a law-abiding citizen of Pakistan, I seek justice and protection of law to ensure my fundamental rights and fundamental rights of journalists and place information about grave threat to life and liberty to self and other journalists on the record."
"Based on credible information from reliable sources, I place it on record that discussions were held by certain 'unscrupulous elements' to involve the undersigned in false, bogus, fabricated criminal cases; to kidnap and make enforced disappearance or to beat the undersigned and other journalists."
He further highlighted: "As per my credible sources, the same planning has allegedly been done against other journalists including Arif Hameed Bhatti, Imran Riaz Khan, Sami Ibrahim, Sabir Shakir, Siddique Jan, Dr. Moeed Peerzada, Jameel Faruqi and a few others."
According to him, the threat to his life and fundamental rights is posed by elements whose nefarious designs were frustrated when the undersigned approached Islamabad High Court (IHC).
"The Honourable Chief Justice Islamabad High Court, Chief Justice Athar Minhallah provided the undersigned protection of law against attempts to illegally arrest the undersigned in bogus, malicious FIRs in the following words in Order Dated 23/05/2022 in W.P 1812/2022 titled Arshad Sharif and 2 Others Versus Federation of Pakistan, etc," he further maintained.
"The petitioners are aggrieved because they assert that multiple criminal cases have been registered against them throughout the country pursuant to complaints made by private citizens. In response to a query, they have stated that no complaint has been filed by any organ or institution of the State nor by the respective governments."
"The learned counsels have stated that registration of multiple criminal cases violate the fundamental rights of the petitioners and their right to liberty. The learned counsels have further stated that it is likely that other criminal cases may also be registered against the petitioners for other than bonafide reasons."
"The petitioners are engaged in the profession of journalism and the criminal cases have been registered in the context of their speech. They have no criminal record. It appears to the Court that, prima facie, the petitioners have reasonable grounds to believe that criminal cases have been registered for other than bonafide reasons," continued Sharif.
The anchor also reminded the IHC's specific orders in this regard and stated the instructions in his letter, "The Inspector General of Police Islamabad Capital Territory and the Deputy Commissioner, Islamabad Capital Territory are directed not to curtail the liberty of the petitioners not hand them over to officials of other provinces without seeking permission from the Court."
The journalist also mentioned that the president wrote a letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif regarding the grave threat to journalists.
Through his letter, Sharif sought to ensure protection for his fundamental rights and those of other journalists facing threats across the country.
Daily Times, February 8, 2018
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