Yusuf Islam, a well-known British singer-songwriter and Muslim icon, has spoken out in support of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan and his close aide, Shahbaz Gill, who are both facing sedition charges.
Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, converted to Islam in 1977 and questioned Pakistan’s judicial authorities in a series of tweets on Tuesday, reportedly referring to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s (PEMRA) ban on live speeches by the former premier and the sedition case against Gill.
“What’s happening in Pakistan? Do judges still have a say or are they being muffled? Their voices are vital to the health of a nation. Telling the truth is not sedition: using the law as a political stick to beat down lawful criticism is the work of rogues, not the work of judges.”
continuing, Islam suggested that authorities focus their efforts on the floods that destroyed 60,000 homes across the country, as well as roads and bridges.
“Floods have destroyed over 60,000 homes across Pakistan, washing away roads and bridges,” he said. That is the top priority at the moment. This is what the army and government should be focused on, not putting politicians behind bars for publicly exposing potentially anti-human rights policies.”
Even though he did not name Khan in his tweet, Islam has a long history with the former premier, dating back to the Shaukat Khanum Hospital campaigns in the mid-1990s and being mentioned in Khan’s book ‘Pakistan: A Personal History’.