AJK PM Farooq Haider pledges to go in handcuffs for sedition probe

Azad Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider said Sunday that if he was summoned for a probe regarding the sedition FIR registered against him and other PML-N leaders, the prime minister said he would appear for the investigation in handcuffs. 

“I was hurt when I got to know about the [sedition] FIR,” he said, speaking during Geo News program Geo Parliament. “If three-fourths of the PDM’s representatives are Modi’s agents, then a question is raised on Pakistan’s existence.”

Haider said that he had not asked anyone to exclude his name from the FIR, adding that the development was ‘unfortunate’. “If I am summoned for the [sedition] probe, will arrive in my government car with handcuffs on,” he said. 

Saying that he would live and die in Pakistan, the AJK prime minister said that Pakistan was where his future lay. He said that his spirits would not be lowered, adding that his affiliation with the country would further strengthen.

He said that it was not possible for a common man to have included such provisions in the sedition FIR. “They didn’t even have the courtesy to apologise to me over a telephone call,” he said. 

Haider said that the prime minister of Pakistan, regardless of whoever assumed the mantle, was respectable in the eyes of the AJK government. However, he said that when the prime minister himself says that Modi is behind the opposition, then such FIRs are registered.  

“This FIR is evidence of moral bankruptcy and enmity against the state,” he said. “Even the Mader-e-Millat (Mother of the Nation) was declared a traitor. Developments such as these weaken a nation,’ he added. 

Talking about last month’s All Parties Conference (APC), the AJK prime minister said that discussions were held only on how to ensure Pakistan functioned according to law. 

Haider said that he had not decided yet about participating directly in the PDM’s movement against the government. “The government of Pakistan has not taken steps according to the people’s expectations after Modi’s August 5 move,” he said. 

Earlier this week, police had clarified that the case against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for delivering provocative speeches from London “to defame Pakistan’s institutions” was not filed on behalf of the state.

In a statement, a spokesperson of Lahore police had said that a first information report (FIR) against the ex-premier and other senior PML-N leaders including Azad Kashmir’s PM Raja Farooq Haider was lodged on the complaint of a citizen.

The clarification from the police came after PM Imran’s “extreme disappointment” over the development and strong reaction from the opposition parties.

The Shahdara police had registered the FIR on October 1 under sections 120, 120B, 121, 121A, 123A, 124, 124A, 153, 153A and 505 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and Section 10 of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 against the PML-N leadership.

The police spokesperson had said the reports circulating in the media that the FIR was filed on behalf of the state or a state institution were not true and the case was filed on the complaint of a citizen, Badar Rasheed, son of Rasheed Khan, a resident of Mohallah Khurshid Park, Shahdara.

“While processing the application as per the rules, Shahdara police had registered the case under the provisions of the law,” he had said, adding, “the investigations are underway on merit and action would be taken only against those found guilty of the charges”.

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