The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday rejected a petitioner's appeal to withdraw his request for a ban on televangelist Aamir Liaquat and upheld an interim ban on the television host who is accused of using television, social media and print media to allegedly spread discord and hatred in the country.
Petitioner Mohammad Abbas' lawyer, Barrister Shoaib Razaq, had argued in court in the last hearing of the case in December 2017 that Liaquat does not have any Islamic degree or certification and yet calls himself an aalim (religious scholar) — a title he seems to have appropriated since hosting television show Aalim Online.
He urged the court to ban the televangelist from appearing on television and social media or using print media to spread his views.
"Liaquat used that show for a number of years to create social and religious divide in the country," the petitioner had alleged, adding that the televangelist has handed out fatwas (religious edicts) on kufr (cardinal sin) and treason which have put the lives of a number of people in danger.
The petitioner's counsel had also pointed out that the TV show host had repeatedly violated the Pakistan Electronic Media Authority's (Pemra) code of conduct, and accused the media watchdog of failing to do its job.
Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, who is hearing the case, had passed an interim order stopping Liaquat from appearing on various media "until further notice".
During the hearing today, Justice Siddiqui rejected Abbas' appeal against the IHC's restrictions on Liaquat and upheld its earlier decision.
In the last hearing of the case, the judge had directed Pemra to ensure that the TV host did not appear "on any TV channel or radio programme in any capacity for any type of talk, programmes, shows and advertisements" till further orders were issued in this respect.
Pemra today submitted its reply on the matter in court today.