Lessons in disguise

Published: June 20, 2012


The present controversy involving Dr Arsalan Iftikhar and Malik Riaz is a lesson in disguise for institutions. The media caught in the explosive case was a matter of concern and opportunity for the honourable judges to reconsider their positions.

In its order, the Supreme Court mentioned the media’s role, inviting its practitioners to follow the code of ethics before reporting such delicate matters. It also referred to meaningless statements made by the three anchorpersons. The astounding planted TV talk show again raised eyebrows causing the judges to discuss it in their full court meeting this week and issue directives for necessary action against the individuals responsible.

As a journalist, this controversy was embarrassing for me. Though it’s pretty easy to defend the awkwardness by saying that journalists have a fair share of black sheep in their ranks, it wasn’t easy for me to convince my family members, relatives and friends. It is a stigma on the image of hard working and committed journalists who seek truthful information — sometimes even at the cost of their lives. I am an heir to the martyred fellows’ work, who fell during their fight for the independence of journalism. But at the same time, I am happy to see our very own black sheep busted.

After the successful campaign for the restoration of sacked judges, the role of the legal fraternity is highly controversial. They are not hesitant in taking any unconstitutional steps, even for the rule of law.

It is the constitutional right of every person to have access to justice and as part of that process, every person has the right to approach a lawyer. Moreover, when the parties in a case employ competent lawyers, judges can be advised on legal facts, thus allowing more accurate judgments and outcomes.

Finally, this incident also has a silent message for our honourable judges—they should take extra care regarding family members so that they do not fall prey to any mafia. They should also not be influenced by media reports that might be based on speculations.

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Azam Khan

Azam Khan

An Islamabad based reporter for The Express Tribune.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.