A religious cleric has approached the Islamabad High Court and challenged a ban placed on him from public speech by the city’s administration during Muharrum. Petitioner Raja Basharat Hussain Imami, through his counsel Raja Qaisar Abbas , prayed to the court to declare the ban imposed on him to address Muharram congregations as illegal. Islamabad chief commissioner and deputy commissioner have been made respondents in the case. In the petition, Abbas stated that his client learnt through print and electronic media that the respondents have banned him from addressing religious congregations within the territory of the capital. “The petitioner is strongly against preaching sectarian extremism and never tried to play with the religious feelings of people,” the petition stated. Abbas said the ban is against fundamental rights, adding he was ready to give undertaking that he will not give any speech against any other sect.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2015.