LAHORE: The curtain has apparently fallen on an ongoing feud between PTI MPA Nazir Chohan and prime minister’s adviser Shahzad Akbar after Mr Chohan eventually apologized to Mr Akbar on Sunday, saying that “he has cleared his faith”.
Mr Chohan, outspoken MPA and member of disgruntled Jahangir Tareen group currently in FIA custody under cyber laws, was brought to the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) after he developed heart problems.
From the PIC, a video message was released wherein Mr Chohan stated that he had raised questions about the faith of Mr Akbar and sought his explanation. “Akbar has now given his statement that he completely believes in the finality of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH),” he said.
Explaining that he has no right to call anyone `kafir’ (infidel), Mr Chohan apologised to Mr Akbar for hurting his religious beliefs and prayed that he (Akbar) and his family stay blessed.
MPA Chohan leveled the allegation about Akbar’s faith in a TV talk show on May 19 and demanded that the latter should resign from the office of adviser to the prime minister on accountability and interior. Mr Akbar, however, on the very next day submitted an application with the Racecourse police station in Lahore and got registered an FIR when he came to Lahore on May 29.
As Mr Chohan came to know about the FIR, he stated that he was readily available to be arrested and added that he had all the proofs and would present those to Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The FIR was 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
Mr Chohan had also gone to the Racecourse police station to court arrest but the police did not arrest him stating that they had yet not obtained permission from the Punjab Assembly speaker.
After almost two months, the Racecourse police arrested Mr Chohan at the LDA offices but he was granted post-arrest bail by a judicial magistrate later in the day.
Chohan was, however, released from the Kot Lakhpat central jail and in a surprise move was picked up by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) under cyber laws following a complaint lodged by the adviser under sections 11 and 20 of PECA and r/w 298, 500, 505(C), 506 of the PPC and 29 Telegraph Act. Chohan was accused of runninga `malicious and hate speech` campaign against Mr Akbar on social media platforms.
The FIA had presented Chohan in a court and secured judicial remand for 14 days and did not allow him to attend the Punjab Assembly session despite the issue of production order by the Speaker Punjab Assembly.
On non-production of Chohan, Speaker Elahi continued adjourning the proceedings of the assembly session on Thursday and Friday threatening not to allow the government business until his orders are implemented.
Published in Dawn, August 2nd, 2021