LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Wednesday arrested Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MPA Nazir Chohan under cyber laws after he secured bail in a police case.

The FIA cybercrime booked Mr Chohan, an active member of the Jahangir Khan Tareen group, on the complaint of adviser to the prime minister on interior and accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar under sections 11 and 20 of PECA and r/w 298, 500, 505(C), 506 of the PPC and 29 Telegraph Act.

Mr Chohan and some others are accused of running ‘malacious and hate speech’ campaigns against Mr Akbar on social media platforms. Chohan raised questions about the faith of Akbar.

The FIA will present Chohan in the court for his judicial remand on Thursday.

Talking to reporters, Chohan said Shahzad Akbar held an important position in the government despite serious allegations against him. “I will stick to my stance and inform the premier in this regard,” he said and added that he was an elected MPA, indirectly referring to Akbar who was not elected.

On Tuesday Racecourse police arrested him on similar charges. Later in the day he was granted bail by a judicial magistrate.

In the police FIR, Akbar accused Chohan of leveling allegations concerning his religious beliefs during an appearance on a television channel, which put his life at risk.

The FIR carried offences 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.

MPA Chohan visited the police station in a rally and presented himself for arrest after the registration of the FIR against him in May last. However, the police refused to arrest him, citing approval from the Punjab Assembly speaker.

The Tareen group - 30 MPAs and 10 MNAs - was formed a few months ago to put pressure on the government to provide relief to the former secretary general of PTI (Tareen) in the sugar scam.

Punjab Assembly Speaker Parvez Elahi has issued production orders for Mr Chohan in the ongoing assembly session.

Published in Dawn, July 29th, 2021

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