PTI MPA Nazir Chohan arrested from Lahore for second time in 2 days over Shahzad Akbar's complaint

Published July 28, 2021
PTI MPA Nazir Chohan was transferred to the Federal Investigation Agency's office and will be presented in court tomorrow. — DawnNewsTV
PTI MPA Nazir Chohan was transferred to the Federal Investigation Agency's office and will be presented in court tomorrow. — DawnNewsTV

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested PTI MPA Nazir Chohan in Lahore on Wednesday in a case registered by the prime minister's aide, Shahzad Akbar.

The FIA transferred Chohan to its office and will present him in the court of Judicial Magistrate Yousuf Abdul Rehman tomorrow (Thursday).

Today's arrest comes a day after Chohan was arrested by police from the office of the Lahore Development Authority on a separate complaint by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Interior and Accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar. The MPA was set to be moved to a cell of the FIA's cybercrime wing but was granted bail by a judicial magistrate later in the day.

On Tuesday, Chohan, who is part of the PTI's estranged Jahangir Khan Tareen group, had been arrested on Akbar's complaint — registered in May — 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 (PPC).

Akbar had accused Chohan 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 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 reads.

Today's arrest, meanwhile, came in a case registered on July 8 under Sections 11 (hate speech) and 20 (offences against the dignity of a natural person) of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 and read with Sections 298 (uttering words to wound religious feelings), 500 (punishment for defamation), 505(c), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the PPC and Section 29 of the Telegraph Act.

According to the FIR, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the accountability czar levelled similar accusations against Chohan regarding his statements on the former's religious beliefs — this time on social media. "The complainant is aggrieved of a systematic and organised hate campaign which has been launched against him by Nazir Chohan and others at his behest on social media and WhatsApp chats," the FIR said.

It quoted Akbar as saying that "miscreants on behalf of vested interests" were involved in an effort to "discourage and blackmail" him into dereliction of his official duties.

The FIR added that "the motive behind this malicious, hateful and defamatory social media campaign is to discourage the complainant from the proactive role that the complainant is playing in curbing corruption and ensuring accountability in Pakistan."

'I am steadfast on my stance'

Meanwhile, Chohan refused to back down from his stance. "Shahzad Akbar occupies an important position. That is [precisely] my point that who is he to occupy such an important position," Chohan said during a media talk today while being transferred to the FIA's office.

He said he would continue to stand by his stance and would present his complaint before the prime minister. "I will ask the prime minister that you have to make Shahzad Akbar understand. I am a winning MPA of Lahore," Chohan said.

He added that it wasn't appropriate for an unelected individual to treat him in such a manner.

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