Silencing dissent – 16 Feb 2023
This phenomenon of booking rivals in sedition is disgusting, and is acting as a detriment to national cohesion
Political dissent seems to be going over the brink. The attitude of the authorities concerned to book adversaries for their views is taking a toll. There are umpteenth cases in the last many years wherein politicians, journalists, lawyers and men from civil strata were hounded up for their likes and dislikes towards the men at the helm of affairs, and were prosecuted and persecuted. Ali Wazir, Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) MNA from South Waziristan, is an just an addition to the long list of men of conscience who had to face trial and tribulation for what they are, and what they believe in and what they feel like preaching. His release, however, after more than two years of incarceration is a welcome development, and comes as a cheer until and unless he is not picked up anywhere else in a case(s) of similar allegation. This phenomenon of booking rivals in sedition is disgusting, and is acting as a detriment to national cohesion.
The parody of framing cases at whims and wishes must come to an end. The flip side is that it not only weakens the writ of governance, but also unnecessarily brings under question the impartiality of judiciary. Ali Wazir and other PTM leaders’ cases, for example, are an open and shut testimony of disagreeing with the policy in vogue. That does not come under the purview of sedition, but it is quite unfortunate that political rivals these days are under the impugned law’s axe. Likewise, the tendency to book multiple cases of a singular allegation, or an incident, in various cities of the country has already been decried by the courts, as it only hints at victimisation.
Senior parliamentarian Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed was on the spot as he tweeted on Wazir’s release by saying, ‘a wrong is reversed!’ It is incumbent upon the state authorities, especially, to closely glean through the volumes of cases being lodged day in and day out against adversaries, and make a sense out of it in rationality. Silencing someone’s voice undermines the plurality of society.