Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on Sunday claimed that another member of the party's social media team was reportedly taken into custody by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) over alleged violation of the cyber crime law.
PTI leader Imran Ismail, while talking to Dawn.com, confirmed that "Owais Khan, a member of PTI's social media team was taken into custody [by FIA] on Saturday."
In response to the arrest of Owais Khan, PTI Chairman Imran Khan took to twitter on Sunday and warned the government of agitation.
"We will take to the streets if action is taken against our social media activists under the garb of 'national security'," he tweeted.
The development surfaced two days after another PTI social media activist Salar Khan was released following days-long detention by the FIA. Earlier, like Salar Khan, Owais was also summoned to be at the FIA headquarters.
"I have summoned to be at the FIA HQ today for 10am. I don't know why. Extremely thankful for all ur supp,just keep going," Owais had tweeted.
The details of allegations against Owais Khan and Salar Khan are yet to be ascertained.
This was not the first time when social media activists of PTI were arrested by FIA. The agency, earlier in 2015, had arrested Qazi Jalal in a case of vilification of judges of the superior court by tweeting allegations against them.
Though there were no official words from FIA on the recent arrest, some media reports suggested that people are being questioned and taken into custody as part of a crackdown, being launched by FIA as the agency has finalised a list of 200 people.
All the people placed in the list are likely to be questioned or detained for their alleged anti-army tweets or posts on social media, reported Samaa.tv.
The PTI leadership has been accusing the government of using the law to press its political opponents, but according to the report, the supporters of PML-N, who have violated the law, are also placed on the list.
Meanwhile, PPP Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar also criticised the government over its alleged crackdown against social media platforms.
“The misuse and overuse of blanket orders issued last week by the interior ministry to take action against social media platforms in the name of national security is not acceptable,” Babar was quoted as saying.
"It is unfortunate that the government has chosen to respond to increasing opposition to its policies by stifling dissent in the name of national security," read a statement issued on Sunday.
Party stands by its activists
The PTI leaderships has decided to stand by its activists. The party's top brass took to social media to express solidarity and support to its activists in the time on hardships.
PTI has directed its workers to contact the party for assistance and guidance, in case of any such incident. The activists are directed to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if they see their name, or list or get summoned.
HRCP hails PTI
The law has been receiving criticism both by civil society forums and political parties. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan also come to support PTI over the issue. In a statement, published a day ago, HRCP criticised the government over arrests and praised PTI for its stand.
“The HRCP wishes to commend PTI for recognising and flagging up the abuse of the cyber crime law for political victimisation and intimidation of activists and correctly calling it out as unacceptable in a democracy," reads the statement.
The HRCP hopes and expects that other political parties will also raise the issue and demand an end to arbitrary curbs on and intimidation of political activists, bloggers, journalists and other civil society activists, it added.
Referring to a report, submitted in the parliament, the HRCP said that since the present government came to power, the cyber crime wing of the FIA has registered nearly 900 cases.