PESHAWAR: An anti-terrorism court has rejected the bail petition of a man arrested for running a social media account of Afghanistan’s militant group Haqqani Network.

The court observed that at the current stage, ‘reasonable grounds existed to believe’ that petitioner Abdul Qudoos of Kurram tribal district was guilty of the offence.

It added that in the ‘given circumstances’, the petitioner did not deserve any leniency.

The petitioner was arrested a few days ago in connection with an FIR registered at the Federal Investigation Agency’s Counter-Terrorism Wing (CTW), Islamabad, on Sept 9, 2021.

He was booked under sections 9, 10, 11 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016, and sections 9, 11(f) and 11(w) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

The CTW had received a complaint on Oct 14, 2015, about petitioner Abdul Qudoos being involved in creating and managing Facebook page for the proscribed militant organisation Haqqani Network.

An inquiry was conducted into the complaint that led to the registration of an FIR against the petitioner.

The court observed that the perusal of records revealed that the petitioner had been directly charged with creating and managing Facebook page of the Haqqani Network.

It added that the records showed that the petitioner was actively involved in glorifying the activities of the militant outfit on social media from different countries, including Qatar and Myanmar. The court observed that that there was sufficient evidence available, including the recovery and forensic examination of the petitioner’s mobile phone and other relevant material, to ‘fully connect’ him with the commission of offence.

The petitioner’s counsel contended that his client was falsely implicated in the case and that no link could be established between him and the militant organisation by the prosecution.

Published in Dawn, October 5th, 2022

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