Pakistan's investigation agency to question 200 people over anti-army posts on social media

Islamabad: Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has drawn up a list of 200 people, including reporters, and will question them regarding their social media posts against the Pakistan Army, a media report has said.

Among those named in the list are some social media activists of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf.

 Pakistans investigation agency to question 200 people over anti-army posts on social media

Representational image. Reuters

Citing its sources, Samaa TV reported that 40 people have already been grilled by the investigation agency while their laptops, mobile phones and iPads have been seized and sent for forensic evaluation.

The investigation agency has finalised a list of 200 people, the channel said, quoting a government source.

The move comes despite Tehreek-e-Insaaf chief Imran Khan's threat to launch street protests against the social media crackdown. Khan said he would be forced to take to the streets if the government touched his workers or banned social media.

Salar Kakar, a social media activist of Khan's party, was detained from Quetta and shifted to Islamabad for investigation before being released a day later.

Dr Faisal Ranjha, an active supporter of the PML-N on social media, has also reportedly been arrested by the FIA.

In a statement, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan voiced serious alarm over arbitrary curbs on freedom of expression, a climate of intimidation and the authorities’ stated intent to act against any perceived slight to the armed forces through the social media.

"We are particularly alarmed by statements of at least two federal ministers, one of whom vowed severe action under the cyber crime law, and through the other the FIA was directed to proceed against those 'dishonouring' the army through the social media," the commission said.

Updated Date: May 21, 2017 14:46:25 IST