FIA interrogates more people on anti-state posts

Pakistan social media crackdown

Pakistan social media crackdown

"Even his last tweet was a retweet of the DG ISPR, so it's ironic that he was taken by the FIA on charges of abusing the army", said the MNA, adding that no FIR had so far been registered against Khan.

The action was taken by the FIA's counter-terrorism wing, instead of its cyber crime wing, under Pakistan's draconian cyber crime laws.

PTI leader said that social media had given an opportunity and freedom to the people of Pakistan to express their sentiments by sharing their messages across the world, but Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had made a decision to stifle them through Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

On Friday, the FIA reportedly compiled a list of 33 social media users for carrying out propaganda against the army, a report in The Nation said. "People are being harassed and it is spreading fear", the spokesperson said.

The Express Tribune, citing sources, reported that the arrests were made from several parts of the country and more arrests were likely to take place in the coming days.

The Chairman PTI said that it was Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's (PML-N) media cell which maligned the Pakistan army.

While issuing directives in this respect on May 14, the interior minister stated that the Constitution, while guaranteeing freedom of expression, makes it clear that security and defence-related issues and relevant organisations would not be subject to criticism and no citizen would indulge in any such activity that negatively impacts the prestige, repute and respect of the armed forces.

These directives were issued after the government and the army reached a settlement over Dawn Leaks.

In a demonstration organised outside the press club by the PTI social media's Karachi chapter, they expressed concerns over the "harassment of social media activists and journalists at the hands of the law enforcement agencies" and termed it "undemocratic behaviour".

Offices of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) social media head for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were raided by unidentified officials, it was revealed on Monday.

After visiting the FIA headquarters on Sunday, PTI Vice President Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the party "stood by our [detained] activists and their families".

He added: "Freedom of expression and democracy go hand-in-hand".

Spokesperson for the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) called the action "unacceptable" before adding that it was "disturbing that in a short span of time almost one thousand cases have been registered against social media platforms".

"Pakistan wants to be one putting out the fires, not supporting other people's wars", he said.

"Silencing political dissent in the name of security or ideology is not acceptable".

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