Islamabad - A writ petition seeking court’s directions to make public the report of inquiry commission in the matter of an assassination attempt on anchor Hamid Mir was filed on Monday in the Islamabad High Court.

The petition was moved by a private television channel’s anchor Arshad Sharif who adopted that the publication of this report is necessary as due to the recent leaks of Hamid Mir Commission Report, the interest and security of the country is under challenge as different media houses both nationally and internationally can manipulate the findings and change the context to their own benefit.

Sharif filed the petition through his counsel M Shoaib Razzaq Advocate and nominated federation through President of Pakistan, Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights secretary and Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage secretary as respondents.

He stated in this matter that it was April 19, 2014 when an unfortunate assassination attempt was made on the life of Mir by an unidentified group of people while he was travelling from the airport towards his television channel office in Karachi.

The petitioner added that he was shot numerous times and sustained severe injuries while the assailants succeeded to escape from the scene. However, Mir overcame the cowardly attack and successfully recovered after receiving medical treatment. 

He maintained that in the aftermath of firing, a malicious, libellous, slanderous and scandalous campaign was stirred up by several media houses through their channels and printing groups against the state organs, focusing primarily on the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and its then director general (DG) Lieutenant General Muhammad Zaheerul Islam.

The petitioner continued that the same day, ISPR released a statement condemning the attack and praying for a speedy recovery of Hamid Mir, but regretted over the baseless, malicious, defamatory allegations levied against the ISI DG and the institute itself.

He contended that the impugned broadcasting was picked up by foreign media most particularly India, who repeatedly played the footage without reporting objectively, to support their own personal agenda of causing hatred and distrust of Pakistan’s state organs, both nationally and internationally.

Sharif argued that the Constitution of Pakistan under article 19 allows the right of ‘Freedom of Speech’ but it in itself also restricts and limits this right in the matters regarding religion integrity, security or defence of Pakistan or any part thereof, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, commission or incitement to an offence.

He was of the view that due to the gravity of the situation and the alarming accusations against the state organs, the government of Pakistan on April 21, 2014 issued a notification with the concurrence of the then Chief Justice of Pakistan and appointed a commission of inquiry comprising of Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, president, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, member and Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman, member.

The petitioner said that the mandate of the said commission was to ascertain facts, identify culprits and fix responsibility for the incident of firing on Mir. The commission was also tasked to give recommendations as how to avoid such incidents in future.

He added that the said commission presented its final report to the federal government on December 18, 2015 but the report has not been officially released for the general public.

He continued that it is pertinent to note that Hamid Mir Commission Report has been leaked and is being used by different media houses for their own personal agenda and mandate by using certain parts of the report which facilitate their cause.

The petitioner mentioned that due to the recent leak of the report, the interest and security of Pakistan is under challenge as different media houses both nationally and internationally can manipulate the findings and change the context to their own benefit.

He said that the publication of judicial commission report is a matter of public importance, and it is in the interest of the public institutions and public at large that the judicial commission report be published. 

The anchor argued that the commission report should be made public as it is public’s right to know the facts under Right to Information law.

Therefore, he prayed to the court to direct law ministry to publish the report and the federation may be directed to implement the recommendations.