Pak court rejects petition seeking ban on WikiLeaks

A Pak court rejected a petition seeking a ban on WikiLeaks for releasing thousands of secret US diplomatic cables.

Last Updated: Dec 03, 2010, 14:03 PM IST

Lahore: A Pakistani court on Friday rejected a
petition seeking a ban on WikiLeaks for releasing thousands of
secret US diplomatic cables, with the judge saying the people
must know the facts.

Justice Azmat Saeed of the Lahore High Court rejected
the petition that was filed yesterday by lawyer Arif Gondal
and said the people should not be kept in dark about such
matters in the 21st century.

In his application, Gondal had claimed that WikiLeaks`
revelations were made deliberately to create differences among
Muslim countries and to cause anarchy in Pakistan.
He also claimed WikiLeaks was defaming the country and
its rulers.

However, the judge observed that there was no harm in
exposing the actions of a few people in the corridors of
power.

"We should have the courage to face the criticism," he
remarked.

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.

Wikileaks has released thousands of confidential US
diplomatic documents, including many about Pakistan that
contain embarrassing disclosures about the country?s political
and military leadership.
One cable mentioned that the Pakistan Army had allowed
US Special Forces to embed with Pakistani soldiers in
operations in the lawless Waziristan tribal region last year.
Publicly, Pakistani officials have maintained that
they will never allow foreign troops to operate on the
country`s soil.
In another cable, former US Ambassador Anne Patterson
said there was "no chance" of Pakistan "abandoning support for
(militant) groups".

The Pakistan government, she said, saw militant groups
"as an important part of its national security apparatus
against India".

Several cables expressed concerns among Western
diplomats about Pakistan’s nuclear materials falling into the
hands of extremists.

In order to avoid an impact on bilateral relations, US
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton telephoned President Asif
Ali Zardari last night to discuss the release of official
correspondence by WikiLeaks.

Both leaders agreed that the WikiLeaks` disclosures
were unauthorised and had been taken out of context as they
were based on raw information that did not reflect the correct
nature of purported official correspondence.

They also agreed that the leaks will not be allowed to
cast a shadow on the strategic partnership between the two
countries.

PTI