A first-information report (FIR) was registered against Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MPA Nazir Chauhan, who is part of the party’s estranged Jahangir Khan Tareen group, on the complaint of Adviser to the Prime Minister on Interior and Accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar on Saturday.
According to the FIR, which has been registered at Race Course Police Station in Lahore and a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, Akbar accused Chauhan of making allegations concerning the former's religious beliefs during an appearance on a television channel, adding that these statements had put his life at risk.
The FIR has been registered under sections 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 189 (threat of injury to public servant), 298 (making statements with deliberate intent to wound religious feelings) and 153 (provoking to cause riot) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
“The offence has been committed to cause injury to the reputation, body, property and mind of the applicant and cause hatred in public at large towards the applicant,” the FIR states.
It further says that Chauhan committed "the offence with the nefarious design to wound the religious feelings of the applicant”.
Akbar has alleged in the FIR that Chauhan’s motive is to discourage him from playing a proactive role in curbing corruption and ensuring accountability in Pakistan.
“The applicant has been subjected to similar allegations in the past because he is performing his duties in a vigilant and responsible manner and the intent of the accused is to forbear the applicant from the exercise of his lawful functions,” the FIR states.
It adds there is a likelihood that Chauhan’s “unfounded, false and vexatious” allegations will provoke “religious hatred” and endanger Akbar’s life.
In response to the registration of the FIR and Akbar seeking legal action against the PTI MPA, Chauhan has maintained that he is ready to fight the case.
Following these developments, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry showed support for Akbar in a message on Twitter.
“Using religion card for personal vendetta is despicable [and] Lahore Police must take strict action against Nazeer Chohan MPA for using third rated tactics,” he tweeted.
In turn, Akbar thanked Chaudhry, saying that “hypocrisy and religious bigotry esp of [the] corrupt should have no space in public”.
The PTI’s Jahangir Khan Tareen group, of which Chauhan is a part, has named Akbar behind the victimisation of Tareen in a sugar scam case.
During a press conference last month, Akbar had responded to the allegation saying that “no one is being targeted as this investigation [into the sugar scandal] is not person-specific.”
Akbar was referring to the objections Tareen raised after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) alleged that Tareen had fraudulently misappropriated shareholder’s money and committed money laundering through the sugar business.
Akbar had said Tareen’s reservations of being targeted in the inquiry were “incorrect and the inquiry was being carried out impartially”.