ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday suspended the notice issued to senior journalist and former chairman of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Absar Alam by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) over his recent tweets and social media posts, and sought record of the complaint from the investigation officer.

Mr Alam in some of his recent tweets had criticised the establishment for interfering in politics; in his petition, he challenged the FIA’s notice which was issued without date and detail of the allegations leveled against him. IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah took up Absar’s petition.

The petition cited secretary interior, director general FIA, director cyber crimes and inspector Mazhar Shah of the FIA as respondents. Barrister Jahangir Khan Jadoon, the petitioner’s counsel informed the court that FIA was asked to provide the copy of complaints and any alleged evidence but to no avail.

Mr Alam gave an undertaking to the court that he is ready to join the investigation if the FIA would provide him the requisite details. He said he was being victimised for criticising the government and termed FIA’s summon “malafide” and requested the court to scrap it.

The FIA summoned him on the complaint of a lawyer who alleged that the ex-Pemra chairman was indulging in anti-state rhetoric.

Published in Dawn, March 23rd, 2021

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