PTI MPA Nazir Chohan was on Thursday sent into physical remand of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for two days in connection with a complaint registered by the prime minister's aide, Shahzad Akbar.
Chohan was arrested in Lahore by the FIA on Wednesday on Akbar's complaint. It was his second arrest in as many days. A day earlier he was taken in custody by Lahore police in a separate case filed by the same complainant, although he was later released on bail the same day.
The FIA today produced Chohan in the district court of Judicial Magistrate Yousaf Abdul Rehman, who granted the two-day remand and ordered the investigation agency to produce the MPA before the court on July 31 (Saturday).
"In order to facilitate the investigation and for the purpose of recovery, a two-day physical remand of the accused is granted," stated the court order — a copy of which is available with Dawn.com.
The FIA had sought a remand of 14 days to complete the investigation, with their representative telling the court that Chohan had uploaded material on social media against Akbar.
"The FIA will recover Chohan's social media accounts," the agency's lawyer said, adding that his WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook accounts will be a part of the investigation.
Akbar had registered a case against Chohan 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 Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and Section 29 of the Telegraph Act.
According to the first information report, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the accountability czar had accused Chohan of making allegations concerning the former's religious beliefs on social media, adding that these statements had put his life at risk.
"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 reads.
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."
Chohan, meanwhile, had refused to back down from his stance while being transferred to the FIA's office yesterday (Wednesday) and said he would present his complaint to the prime minister. "I will ask the prime minister that you have to make Shahzad Akbar understand. I am a winning MPA of Lahore," he had said.
FIR for interference in AJK polling
Meanwhile, Chohan had another case registered against him in Lahore's Green Town police station by Green Town Station House Officer (SHO) Saghir Ahmad on July 28 under Sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the PPC.
The SHO claimed that the MPA had visited the polling station on July 25 — the day of the AJK general election — with a group of 20 to 25 people and his coordinator.
According to the FIR, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the group had attempted to enter the polling station and resorted to "misbehaviour and pushing" when denied entry. Threats were issued to the SHO that he would be transferred, it added.
"Nazir Chohan and his companions left after issuing threats of dire results," the FIR quoted Ahmad as saying.