Freedom of Expression, National Interests and Targeting Pak Army – Pakistan Today

International law does not allow freedom of speech to justify attacks on national security
The love of religion is obligatory for every Muslim. There are many matters in the religion such as monotheism and faith in the prophethood, which must be accepted without thinking and discussion, and the slightest doubt can cause one to leave the religion.
After love for religion comes the turn of love for country and in Islam love for country has also been given a special status. Along with love for country, observance of the country’s constitution and laws is also mandatory for every citizen and it is a part of any society.
The armed forces are responsible for protecting the ideological borders of the country. The Pakistan Army is one of the best forces in the world. Due to the patriotism, professionalism and endless sacrifices of our brave sons and daughters, no one can dare to look at our beloved country with bad intentions.  The brave soldiers who sacrifice their sleep for our comfort and peace are undoubtedly our pride. We place the soldiers of our army, navy and air forces who fearlessly protect our longest and most difficult ideological borders on our foreheads. Our military intelligence agency is also one of the best agencies in the world and it is an eyesore for our enemies.
Apart from protecting our external and ideological borders, the Pakistan Army has rendered valuable services on the internal fronts as well. The nation is thankful for the valuable efforts and sacrifices of the Pakistan Army due to which terrorism and extremism are being eradicated and the situation is rapidly improving. The Pakistan Army has always been at the forefront in dealing with natural calamities and helping the victims. The valuable services of the Pakistan Army in health, education, city building and other sectors cannot be denied. They are successfully taking care of the security of our national assets, peace and law & order. Census and elections etc. are impossible without the participation and selfless help of the Pakistan Army. Without a doubt, the Pakistan Army is the only ray of hope in the beloved country which is in the grip of corruption and terrorism. If you look at developed and strong countries, you will come to know that their forces get oxygen from their people. The people and rulers of those countries give full moral support to their respective forces. If everyone is weighed in the scales of patriotism, the weight of the army would be heavy.
It is our irony that religion, Country and armed forces are targeted in the name of freedom of expression and every now and then such incidents keep cropping up in the media. It is surprising that the so-called intellectuals who remain silent on the people’s common issues keep turning their guns towards the religion, the country and the armed forces.
Many in Pakistan believe that complete freedom of the expression is admissible under International law. Spreading hatred for state institutions among the public and giving out statements against the military, judges and the police is legal under the umbrella of ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom of expression’. Unfortunately, many in Pakistan do not know this.
Under international law, utterances may be legally controlled if they cause serious harm to national security, and many governments can limit any public debate on national security matters. International law draws a line, and the provisions in international law allow the exercise of the right to freedom of expression to be limited on the grounds of national security, provided that this is explicitly provided by law and that the restriction is necessary and proportional in an open and democratic society.
National security is one of the most crucial areas where interference with media freedom is in practice. Every person, irrespective of race, caste or gender, has the right to freedom of speech and expression. Freedom of speech and expression incorporates freedom to hold conclusions and to get and confer information and ideas without obstruction by the public authority or the state. However, we should not confuse freedom of expression with harming national security and battering the institutions of a state but should, instead, find a balance between both.
Another alarming issue is lack of tolerance, ethics and values from our political parties and leaders. Recently baseless and false allegations have been seen from PTI Chairman and leaders Against the Army and the Intelligence agencies.  These allegations have been raised without showing proofs and a situation of anarchy and hate has been created in the country. Imran Khan has boosted the feelings of his supporters to such a level that they have started attacks on the Pakistan Army, intelligence agencies and our national assets.
In an appalling incident of vandalism never witnessed before in the country’s political history, the historic corps commander’s house in Lahore which also served as residence of the founding father of the nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was attacked by PTI supporters on Tuesday hours after Imran Khan’s arrest by the Rangers personnel in Islamabad. The violent protesters entered the corps commander’s residence, also known as Jinnah House, ransacked the building, destroyed the furniture, damaged other fixtures and later set it on fire. Columns of smoke rising from the building could be seen from a distance. Luckily, neither the corps commander nor any member of his family were present when the incident took place.
In another tragic incident, dozens of supporters of PTI equipped with batons, rods and bricks attacked GHQ and broke out the main gate from Saddar side. A large number of enraged workers of PTI also pelted the gate of GHQ from RA Bazaar side with stones and bricks.
In several cities of Pakistan, the PTI workers blocked the roads, causing difficulty for the citizens. They are attacking national assets. Their actions are backed up by their leadership and PTI workers have been allegedly emotionalized by Imran Khan. Of course, the chaos has been incited on the signals of the PTI leadership. These things should not be acceptable in the country.
If someone had been arrested through a legal procedure then if he is a citizen of the country and claims to make Riasat- e-Madina where everyone will have equal rights, then at least he should face legal proceedings like an ordinary person. If you are against the status quo and protocol then why do you need special treatment?
Readers, it is need of the time that strict actions should be taken to draw a clear line between Freedom of expression and malicious attacks on our religion and institutions. Speeches and actions against Country, Pak Army, Intelligence agencies and national & public assets are not acceptable and should be treated with iron hands.


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