Sedition charges: A tool to whip up public opinion – TBP Editorial

Must Read

Genocide is the only option in Balochistan – Pakistani Minister declares

A Pakistani minister in Balochistan, who is de-jure head of security apparatus in the region, has declared that genocide...

Aslam Baloch — The Baloch General – TBP Special report

For seventy years, through ups and downs, successes and failures, with rapid and slow pace, the Balochistan’s...

State’s deadly weapon, Shafiq Mengal – The Balochistan Post report

Strings of suicide bombing in Sindh's Shikarpur city and firing incident on BSO azad's rally in Khuzdar got connected...

On January 27, twenty-three members of AWP (Awami workers party) and PTM (Pashtun Tahafuz Movement) were arrested in Pakistan’s capital—Islamabad. They were protesting against the arrest of PTM chief Manzoor Pashteen.

Pakistan’s leading newspapers reported that the arrested members were highly educated youth, graduated from the UK and prestigious institutions of Pakistan such as LUMS. Interestingly, the person who they were protesting for and the protesters have all been charged with sedition. In another recent case, 300 students were also charged with sedition last year in December for carrying out marches for student rights in Lahore city of Pakistan.

Section 124A relates to the offense of sedition or exciting “disaffection” against the government. This colonial-era law was introduced by the British to suppress any voice against their rule or showing disaffection against the government which continues to accomplish the same objective for Pakistan’s military establishment as it did a century ago for colonial powers in India.

Does not matter how draconian the law is, and how important it is for the world to remove colonial-era laws from the world, but in Pakistan, it is the favorite tool of the military establishment to whip up public opinion against their disliked group of people, a community or a whole nation like Baloch.

The word sedition has a negative connotation in Pakistan and it is often attached with the flimsy meaning of a traitor where a person collaborates with ‘enemies’ to harm a country, thought the reality is another story and the accused have only shown disaffection over some steps of civilian government or military establishment.

Similar tactics are being used in Balochistan for decades now. Balochistan, a region termed as a ‘Blackhole for media’ by Al Jazeera in 2014, where narratives are only built by the establishment in collaboration with their powerful national media. The same sedition charges and accusations have been the backbone of their narrative, used continuously to whip up the public opinion of Pakistan’s majority population in Punjab against Baloch political and rights activists.

Public in Punjab had always sided with the establishment’s narrative regarding Balochistan, sedition charges in the Capital and in the heart of Punjab have now solved the equation for them, when establishment calls it treason, it does not necessarily mean someone has been involved in activities funded by the so-called enemies, it can also mean that person has shown disaffection against injustices and the atrocities that state has committed on his land and against his people.

Peaceful demonstration for this disaffection is a lawful act, under the laws for the freedom of speech anywhere in the world.

Latest News

Kalat: Residents Protest Over Gas and Electricity Shortages Amid Severe Cold

Residents of Kalat, including women and children, have taken to the streets in protest against the severe...

Sindhi Activists End Five-Day Protest Against Father’s Killing; Call For Rallies

The daughters of Hidayat Lohar, a Sindhi nationalist who was killed by unknown assailants, ended their five-day protest on Wednesday after holding...

Khuzdar: Family Protests Against Forced Marriage of 15-Year-Old Girl

In Khuzdar, a family has staged a protest blocking the road outside the Assistant Commissioner's Office in Naal, demanding action against Younus...

Military Operation Launched in Bolan and Environs, Helicopter Shelling and Mortar Fire Reported

In a major military operation, the Pakistan Army has initiated operations in the regions of Bolan and its suburbs in Balochistan. Helicopter...

Attack on Baloch and Pashtun Students in Punjab Unversity Leaves 20 Injured

The Baloch Council at Punjab University has strongly condemned the "brutal assault" on Baloch and Pashtun students by elements affiliated with a...