LHC rejects plea to ban WikiLeaks; a positive development

by admin

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday rejected the plea to ban the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks in the country.

The petitioner was of the view that the leaks were defaming the leadership of the country and must be banned inside Pakistan.

The apex court dismissed the plea, saying the website was operative in more than 170 countries and could not be blocked in Pakistan.

Justice Azmat Saeed, during the hearing, remarked that one should have the courage tolerate criticism for the sake of national development.

Taking the veil off from the faces of some persons would benefit all, he added.

The judge declared the petition non-maintainable as access to information was the fundamental right of every citizen. The judge held that the people in over 170 countries were accessing the secret cables and it should not be blocked in Pakistan.

The judge remarked, “The secret information may cause trouble for some personalities in Pakistan but it will be good for progress of the nation in the long run. We, as a nation, should have courage to tolerate and digest criticism and live with it.”

“Information should not be hidden, especially in the 21st century,”
“One should bear the truth no matter how harmful it is.”
“We should have the courage to face the criticism,” he remarked.

Justice Saeed said Pakistan cannot be isolated in the world by imposing a ban on the whistle-blowing website.

He pointed out that WikiLeaks had released documents about 170 countries and nothing would happen if the people of Pakistan came to know the facts.

Internet users in Pakistan led the way in Google searches for the term “WikiLeaks” in the build-up to and the first two days of releases of secret diplomatic cables and Pakistan media full of WikiLeaks discussion; no matter what daily newspaper you picked up in Pakistan on Thursday, the headline was on the fallout from the WikiLeaks cables.

Google Insights for Search through Monday show that people in Pakistan and Italy seem to have had the most interest in the first batch of documents.

U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks make perfectly clear and straighten out Pakistan’s [strange] civil military relations
, exposes various political conspiracies, the power of its army, it’s role in politics and alleged human rights abuses. It illustrates the supremacy of our unrepresentative institutions and control over representative institutions.It also confirms the [un]democratic intentions of various political stakeholders. And unmasks especially those [behind the scene]characters who are calling the shots? So, in simple words WikiLeaks documents confirm what we, as a nation, already know.

The messages portray Pakistan’s military and political leadership belong to opposition(PML-N) as fawningly pro-American and duplicitous, discrediting almost the entire political class, with details of them agreeing to policies in private meetings with U.S. diplomats that they would passionately disavow in public. The image of Pakistan’s powerful military chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, emerges particularly badly damaged from the cables, which reveal that he would confide highly sensitive information to the U.S. ambassador and use her to carry messages to his own political leadership.

The WikiLeaks documents include a 2009 cable in which officials discussed removing fissile material from a Pakistani nuclear reactor, an incendiary issue among Pakistanis, many of whom think the United States is out to strip their country of its nuclear capability.

The credence & hypothesis that the United States is the preeminent might in Pakistan resembles to be shared by Pakistan’s politicians themselves, however. One ambitious contender and an apparently anti American Mulana, Fazl-ur-Rehman, leader of a hard-line religious party that is ostensibly hostile to the United States, held a banquet for Ms. Patterson in 2007 to seek her help in becoming the next prime minister.

The Pakistani media has studiously ignored the other side of the story that emerges from the leaked communications – of deep American frustration at Pakistan’s lack of co-operation. In one cable, from September, 2009, U.S. ambassador Anne Patterson laments that there is “no chance” Pakistan will stop funding certain Islamic extremist groups, no matter how much U.S. aid is doled out.

The WikiLeaks dispatches not only unmasks the real puppet masters, but also lay bare the Pakistani leadership’s acquiescence in the use of U.S. drone aircraft to target suspected militants in the country’s tribal area. These documents also destroy the myth and justification for blaming Washington for our own failures and errors.

4 Comments to “LHC rejects plea to ban WikiLeaks; a positive development”

  1. Yhe learned Judge hastily declared the revelations of wikileaks are true. He should have questioned the authenticity of the releases because there are many denials from the concerned people and governments.

  2. ” WikiLeaks” dump is nothing more than an unfortunate incident which struck great allies and friends. The ‘leaks” will neither change the Pak-US relations nor will it affect the Washington’s support for Pakistan. Pakistani leadership was the first one to be contacted by US administration on this issue way before these documents were started to be made public. The relations between the two countries were not transitional rather they were in strategic phase and even today in a top level meeting in White house it has been decided that United states would continue supporting Pakistan. President Zardari would go to USA and President Obama would also be visiting Pakistan next year. Both countries are committed to fully implement what would be agreed in each individual department in strategic dialogue.

  3. LHC dismisses petition seeking ban on WikiLeaks

    LAHORE (December 04, 2010) : The Lahore High Court (LHC) here on Friday dismissed a petition seeking ban on access to website WikiLeaks in Pakistan, declaring it against fundamental right of people to access information. The court passed this order after hearing arguments of petitioner Advocate Arif Gondal.

    The petitioner pleaded that leakage of sensitive secret cables about Pakistan, Muslim and western countries of the world through WikiLeaks site, is a conspiracy to create conflicts among Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and other Muslim and Western countries. The petitioner said disclosures of the secret information by Wikileaks site is aimed at destroying peace in Pakistan and defaming important personalities and national institutions including Pakistan Army.

    The court dismissed the petition observing the secret documents being leaked by WikiLeaks site are being accessed in over 170 countries of the world and it should also not be blocked in Pakistan. The court observed “The secret information may cause trouble for some personalities in the Pakistan but it will be good for growth of the nation in the long run. We, as a nation, should have courage to tolerate and digest criticism and live with it,” the court added.

    The petition, which was dismissed at the state of preliminary hearing, submitted that Pakistan had good bilateral relations with a number of countries of the world, the leakage of secret cables by WikiLeaks would disturb the bilateral relations of Pakistan with other countries, particularly the Saudi Arabia.


  4. WikiLeaks shutdown calls spark censorship row
    France joins calls for WikiLeaks to be taken offline as liberal activists raise comparisons with China’s Google censorship
    The US opened new fronts in its fight against WikiLeaks today as civil rights groups accused the authorities of censorship.

    The whistleblower’s website went offline for the third time in a week this morning – the biggest threat to its online presence so far. The site re-emerged later on a Swiss domain.

    France joined international calls for WikiLeaks to be closed down, warning that it was “unacceptable” for a “criminal” site to be hosted in the country.

    The moves came only days after Amazon pulled the WikiLeaks site from its servers after political pressure from Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate homeland security committee.

    Lieberman is not finished with Amazon, and is planning to write to the organisation within the next 24 hours asking for details of its relationship with WikiLeaks. The issue is fast turning into a row over freedom of speech, as Democratic and Republican politicians joined calls for action against WikiLeaks, including emergency legislation for legal challenge.

    Liberal activists saw echoes of the row involving China and Google earlier this year, censorship the Obama administration decried at the time.

    The US civil rights group Human Rights First wrote to Amazon saying that its decision to cease hosting WikiLeaks raised serious concerns and asked the book group to consider this before responding to Lieberman’s request for more information.

    Rainey Reitman and Marcia Hofmann, of the Electronic Freedom Foundation, which campaigns for internet freedom, writing on the organisation’s site, said it was “unfortunate that Amazon caved in to unofficial government pressure to squelch core political speech. Amazon had an opportunity to stand up for its customer’s right to free expression. Instead, Amazon ran away with its tail between its legs”.

    There have been calls on blogsites for a boycott of Amazon.

    Leslie Phillips, communications director for the Senate homeland security committee, disputed any parallel with China’s censorship of the internet. “It is not at all the same,” she said. “In China, there is a fiat from above.”

    Lieberman, she said, does not have the authority to shut down Amazon or tell it who its clients should be.

    She said Lieberman is to write to Amazon asking for basic facts such as when it first realised that WikiLeaks was disseminating classified information.

    In a blogpost on Thursday night, Amazon denied giving in to political pressure. It said WikiLeaks was violating its terms of service, which included a provision that the content should not be harmful. “It is not credible that the extraordinary volume of 250,000 classified documents that WikiLeaks is publishing could have been carefully redacted in such a way as to ensure that they weren’t putting innocent people in jeopardy,” Amazon said.

    Lieberman and other senators are to introduce legislation that they have named the Shield Act that would allow the administration to go after WikiLeaks. But the bill stands little chance of passage as it would probably go not to the homeland security committee but the Senate judiciary committee, which is headed by Patrick Leahy, a Democrat and long-time champion of liberal issues.

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