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IHC throws out Mazari petition on 'tractor trolley' remark by defence minister

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday dismissed a petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s chief whip Dr Shireen Mazari against Defence Minister Khawaja Asif for using derogatory language against her in the National Assembly.

Justice Athar Minallah heard Dr Mazari’s petition against Asif for using un-parliamentary language against her on the floor of the National Assembly.

Dr Mazari’s counsel, Shoaib Razzaq, argued in the last hearing that the case was a matter of defamation, and his client was personally targeted by the minister.

While throwing out the petition however, Justice Minallah remarked that Asif’s remarks about Mazari were a part of parliamentary proceedings, which the judiciary does not interfere in.

The court had asked the counsel to present an argument on the maintainability of the petition in the next hearing.

Asif during a session of the National Assembly in June this year used derogatory language targeting the PTI’s chief whip, calling her a tractor trolley, criticising her voice and asking for her to be silenced.

The defence minister later issued an ‘unconditional’ apology after initially refusing to do so, but did not name Mazari in his apology.

In her petition Dr Mazari alleged that Asif used un-parliamentary language against her, and asked the court to direct the National Assembly speaker to forward a reference to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the minister’s disqualification.

The petitioner said Asif’s remarks were criminal in nature, under section 500 of the Pakistan Penal Code, and verbally harassed her, thereby creating a hostile working environment under the Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act 2010.

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