The table below is based on information available in news reports, online and legal documents. It records incidents between 2017-2019, where legal action under existing laws has been taken against individuals on the basis of their social media posts, which includes issuance of summons, initiation of enquiries, registration of FIRs, detentions and arrests.
|Sr No||Date||Law(s)||Summons, Enquiries, FIRs, Detentions and Arrests|
|51||October 28, 2020||-||Executive Editor, Awami Khabarnmama, Umair Solangi tweeted about his unlawful and illegal detention by the FIA on October 21, 2020, at 9pm. According to his tweet, he was released at 4am on October 22, 2020. He said he was threatened with being implicated in a false case.|
|50||October 27, 2020||-||Gul Bukhari tweeted saying a complaint with the FIA was filed against her by lawyer Azhar Siddque. According to the screenshots of the complaint shared, she is accused of “levelling false, frivolous, fabricated and unfounded allegations against...Honourable Judges, impeccable Supreme Judiciary, Media and our highly devoted and agile national intelligence agency.”|
|49||October 24, 2020||PECA||Okara/Islamabad: On October 24, 2020, advocate and court reporter Mian Dawood tweeted a copy of undated summons issued to him by FIA Islamabad. The summon required Dawood’s attendance on October 12, 2020, before the FIA to join Enquiry No. 235/2020 initiated against him. A copy of the summon, which was tweeted by Dawood, says he was already “aware of the facts/circumstances of the said complaint.”|
|48||October 07, 2020||PECA||Journalist Amir Mir tweeted a video uploaded to YouTube channel Googly News saying the FIA had accused them of anti-state activities.
The video mentions a summon received by Mir directing him to join Enquiry No. 145/2020 at the FIA office Islamabad. The video displayed a questionnaire received by Mir alleging the content uploaded by Googly News was anti-state.
|47||October 05, 2020||PPC, PECA||Lahore: FIR 3033/2020 was lodged at Shahdara police station against PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif, Raja Zafar-ul-Haq, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Khurram Dastageer, Senator General Retired Abdul Qayoom, Saleem Zia, Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Salahuddin Tirmizi, Maryam Nawaz, Ahsan Iqbal, Sheikh Aftab Ahmed, Pervez Rashid, Khawaja Asif, Rana Sanaullah, Begum Najma Hameed, Begum Zakia Shah Nawaz, Tariq Razaq Chaudhry, Sardar Yaqub Nisar, Nawabzada Changez Mari, Miftah Ismail, Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Mohammad Zubair, Abdul Qadir Baloch, Shaza Faima Khawaja, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Mehtab Abbasi, Mian Javed Latif, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Attaullah Tarrar, Chaudhry Barjees Tahir, Chaudhry Mohammad Jafar Iqbal, Uzma Bukhari, Shaista Parvez Malik, Saira Afzal Tarrar, Begum Ishrat Ashraf, Waheed Alam, Raheela Durrani, Danial Aziz, Raja Farooq Haider, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Amir Muqam and Irfan Siddiqui, under Sections 120, 120 B, 121, 121 A, 123 A, 124, 124 A, 153, 153 A, 505 PPC R/W Section 10 of PECA. The FIR was lodged upon the complaint of Badar Rasheed against the above mentioned PML-N members for allegedly conspiring against Pakistan.
On October 10, 2020, the police, through a statement said after a thorough investigation it reached a conclusion that all the politicians except Nawaz Sharif were innocent as they did not endorse the statements made by Sharif. The police withdrew four sections from the FIR: Sections 121-A, 123-A, 124 and 153-A.
|46||September 25, 2020||PECA||Rawalpindi: On September 25, 2020, web editor at Naya Daur, Ali Warsi, tweeted journalist Arshad Sulehri received a call from the FIA asking for his home address so the “notice could be delivered to him.”
Journalist Matiullah Jan tweeted a copy of the summon received by Sulehri. According to the summon, the FIA was “conducting a probe regarding cybercrime” in Enquiry No. 253/2020. The summon stated, “you are well aware of the facts/circumstances of the said matter.”
Sulehri’s house was raided. He filed Writ Petition 2939/2020 before the Islamabad High Court (IHC). Through order dated 08.10.2020, the IHC issued notices to the parties and directed the investigation officer to appear in person and explain “under what authority of law the undated notice was issued” and why his house was raided. The Court also directed the Respondents to not take any adverse action against the Petitioner.
According to a tweet by Pakistan Bar Council’s Journalists Defence Committee, Sulehri joined the investigation before the FIA and furnished a detailed reply. The tweet also states the FIA could not put forth any incriminating material in support of the complaint.
|45||September 24, 2020||PECA||Journalist Mubashir Zaidi tweeted the FIA had prepared a list of 49 journalists and social media activists against whom cases would be registered under PECA.
On the same day, Roohan Ahmed, a reporter at Samaa TV tweeted: “...A senior FIA official, requesting anonymity, tells me that the FIA has refused to lodge FIRs against the journalists. Refusing to name anyone, the official confirmed that they were told to lodge cases but they said FIA won't file FIRs on its own.”
He added, “The senior FIA official, however, confirmed that an inquiry is being conducted against over 50 journalists and social media activists for the past couple of weeks but investigation is not yet concluded”.
Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari tweeted on 25 September 2020 that the news of 49 journalists being enquired by FIA is incorrect. She said, “This was disturbing news so I checked & my info is it's incorrect. A private citizen has sent complaint to FIA against around 12 journalists. FIA examines all complaints but NO FIR has been registered & FIA can't register FIR under PECA without following specified legal procedure”.
|44||September 14, 2020||-||PTM activist Ihtesham Afghan tweeted a newspaper report through which he found out about the registration of an FIR against him for allegedly being “anti state and for propagating against the army on social media”.
MNA Mohsin Dawar tweeted a copy of the FIR 796/2020 registered at police station in Taxila, Rawalpindi on the complaint of Abdul Wali son of Sher Wali under Sections 499 and 505 of PPC R/W Sections 11, 20 and 37 of PECA. While the FIR says Afghan’s posts are attached, no specific posts are mentioned.
|43||September 14, 2020||PECA, PPC||Journalist Asad Ali Toor tweeted a newspaper report mentioning the registration of an FIR against him on the complaint of Hafiz Ehtisham by Rawalpindi police for allegedly being “anti Pakistan and propagating against the Pakistan Army on social media.”
On the same date, Toor tweeted a copy of FIR 338/2020 lodged against him on September 12, 2020, by Police Station Jatli, Rawalpindi under Sections 499, 500 and 505 of PPC and
Sections 11, 20 and 37 of PECA for allegedly posting propaganda against the state, its institutions and armed forces. The contents of the FIR do not mention specific posts but states that the posts are attached.
On September 16, 2020, Toor tweeted saying he was granted one week transit/protective bail by the Islamabad High Court. On September 29, 2020, one of Toor’s counsel, Umer Gilani tweeted saying a petition to quash the FIR against Toor was filed before the Lahore High Court. The Court admitted the petition, issued notices to the parties. The trial court also extended Toor’s interim bail.
On October 26, 2020, Toor tweeted saying he received a summon from the FIA at 09:32 pm via Whatsapp to appear before them for inquiry within an hour. His tweet reads: “#FIA summons me. Received @cybercrimefia notice at 9:32pm on WhatsApp to appear before them for inquiry on a short notice of just one hour. #Pakistan #PressFreedom”. He later tweeted an update saying he attended the enquiry/ investigation with his counsels, Haider Imtiaz and Imaan Mazari.
|42||September 11, 2020||-||FIR 492/2020 was lodged against journalist and former chairperson PEMRA, Absar Alam, at police station Dena, Jhelum, under Sections 124-A, 131, 499 and 505 of PPC R/W Section 20 of PECA. The FIR was lodged on the complaint of a lawyer, Khursheed Alam, according to whom Alam had used derogatory language against state institutions and personalities on his social media.
In an interview to Independent Urdu, Alam said the DPO admitted before the Senate’s Standing Committee of Human Rights that the FIR was illegal and lodged in violation of Section 196 CrPC. Section 196 CrPC bars registration of FIR under offences against the state, including Section 124-A and 505 PPC, unless the provincial or federal governments have given their approval.
|41||September 09, 2020||-||FIR 613/2020 was lodged against journalist Bilal Farooqui under Sections 500 and 505 of PPC R/W Sections 11 and 20 of PECA. According tocomplainant, Farooqui made "highly provocative posts” on Facebook and Twitter against the Pakistan army resulting in defamation. He also accused the Farooqui of posts spreading “religious hatred”.
Journalist Ebad Ahmed tweeted Farooqi was taken into custody from his home by "two men in plainclothes accompanied by two policemen". In another tweet, he said the police visited Farooqui’s house again to inform his wife he had been detained at a police station in DHA. He added that the police had also seized Farooqui’s phone.
Farooqui was released during the early hours on September 12, 2020, on the "personal guarantee" of his lawyer, Jibran Nasir.The same morning, he appeared before the Judicial Magistrate (South) Uzair Ali. Investigation Officer (IO) Malik Basharat filed an interim report before the Magistrate stating the police had withdrawn Sections 500 and 505 of PPC from the FIR.
According to the report on Dawn.com: “the judge came down hard on the IO, observing that after removing the sections of the PPC, the case was no longer within the jurisdiction of the police and was now a matter for the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). The judge returned the interim report and directed the IO to submit a proper report at the next hearing. Under the law, the IO has 14 days to submit the report.”
|40||August 25, 2020||-||Journalist Faiz Paracha tweeted he was summoned by the FIA regarding a tweet about NUST’s Rector and former Corp Commander Lahore on the issue of NAB’s plea bargain.|
|39||August 24, 2020||-||Journalist Imad Zafar tweeted that he got a call from FIA Deputy Director Adnan Lohani on a complaint filed by General (retd) Amjad Shoaib for a tweet dated 10.08.2020. Zafar received a summon for attendance following which he visited the FIA office on August 26, 2020. On the same day, at 03:22 PM, he tweeted the following:
“I tweeted a message about General Shoaib Amjad regarding attaining the property this particular message was forwarded by a contact to me. I also found it on different SM sites and a website that is why I tweeted it. I never had any intention to malign any individual”.
In another tweet, he said, “I am taking back my tweet. I feel sorry if any one got hurt by my tweet which was posted inadvertently.”
|38||July 17, 2020||PECA||Waqas Ahmed, Senior Head of Digital Content at Business Recorder, shared via a tweet that Shabahat Ali Shah, CEO - National Information Technology Board, Pakistan, lodged a complaint against him with the FIA for a story he did for the Business Recorder on June 24, 2020, in what he called was an attempt to bully him. According to Ahmed’s twitter thread, FIA summoned him to their Islamabad office through a phone call and was reluctant to provide details about the complaint or complainant.|
|37||January 07, 2020||PECA, PPC||Peshawar: FIR 01/2020 was registered under Sections 10 and 11 of PECA R/W 109 PPC against Hassan Nasir in ENQ 29/2020 on the complaint of Amjid Iqbal, Muhammad Iftikhar and Aftab Khan. According to the FIR, the Nasir was accused of “hate speech and fake information against government institutions of Pakistan as well as Pakistan Army.” An application was submitted before District and Sessions judge Peshawar to pass an order instructing Facebook to issue IP logs. However, the FIA through “reliable sources” established the account was being used by Nasir, on the basis of which they obtained a search warrant from “JMIC Peshawar” (Judicial Magistrate 1st Class) and raided his premises.|
|36||November 06, 2019||PECA, PPC||Mardan/Peshawar: FIR 40/2019 under Sections 10, 11 of PECA R/W 109 PPC was registered against Akhtar Khan s/o Abdul Mabood Khan in ENQ No. 705/2019 on the complaint of Muhammad Suliman s/o Sayd Waris. According to the FIR, he spread “hate speech and fake information against government institutions of Pakistan as well as Pakistan Army.” Application was submitted to District and Sessions judge Peshawar to get an order from Facebook and Twitter to issue IP logs. However, according to the FIR, FIA found through “reliable sources” that the disputed social media accounts were in use by Khan on the basis of which they obtained a search warrant from “JMIC Peshawar” and raided his premises.
|34||October 24 2019||PECA, PPC||Peshawar: FIR 38/2019 under Sections 10, 11 of PECA R/W 109 PPC was lodged against Professor Muhammad Ismail on the complaint of Sajid Iqbal, Ali Ahmad, Riaz ur Rahman, and Walid Mir for spreading “hate speech and fake information against Government institutions of Pakistan on Facebook and Twitter accounts...”
Professor Ismail’s arrest was shown on October 25, 2019. He was sent on a fourteen-day judicial remand on October 25, 2019. On November 25, 2019, Professor Ismail was granted bail by the Peshawar High Court.
The prosecution filed an application for cancellation of bail. The hearing on the application was adjourned.
|33||August 25, 2019||PECA, PPC||Sukkur/Karachi: FIR 17/2019 was lodged under Sections 9, 10 and 11 of PECA read R/W 109 PPC against Wahid Bux on the complaint of Inspector Javed Chaudhary, FS Wing Hqrs Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, Muslim Jinnah Courts, Karachi.
The complaint as reproduced in the FIR, read: “He is the admin/ master mind of anti-state whatsapp group regarding engineer and added over hundred like minded people. He used to share hatred material and posts against the sovereignty of the state. The undersigned has directed by the competent authority regarding handing over the above mentioned suspect to FIA Cyber Crime, Karachi. It is therefore requested that the above named suspect may kindly be taken into your custody for further legal proceedings.”
|32||September 30, 2019||PECA||Charsadda/Peshawar: Journalist Muhammad Basit Khan was summoned by FIA Peshawar to appear in Enquiry No. 537/2019 initiated against him. The summons, shared by SAFENewsrooms do not mention what the inquiry pertains to. Khan was ordered to appear at the FIA office on September 30, 2019.
|31||August 22, 2019||PECA, PPC||Peshawar: FIR No. 33/2019 under Sections 10, 11 of PECA R/W 109 PPC was registered against Abdul Hai in Enquiry no. 395/2019 on the complaint of Zubair Ahmed. According to the FIR, Hair was accused of spreading “hate speech and fake information” against “government institution Pakistan” on Facebook. An application was submitted by the FIA before the District and Sessions judge to obtain an order directing Facebook to provide IP logs of recent activities.
|30||August 05, 2019||-||The FIA sent a questionnaire to PML-N leader Maryam NawazFIA sent a questionnaire to PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz seeking answers to over 40 questions pertaining to the Judge Arshad Malik video leak. Maryam Nawaz was asked to submit her response to the questionnaire by August 7, 2019.
On August 20, 2019, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) informed the Supreme Court that Maryam Nawaz had dissociated herself from the video of Arshad Malik. FIA submitted a 105-page report on the video “scandal”, telling the court that it had yet to complete its investigation into the case. The FIA, in its report, stated PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif had also distanced himself from the video. According to the report, other participants namely Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Ahsan Iqbal and Attaullah Tarrar of questioned press conference dated July 6, 2019, adopted a similar stance.
On August 26, 2019, Maryam Nawaz submitted a response to the FIA answering their questions. She responded to 41 questions.
On September 2, 2019, the FIA arrested three more suspects namely, Nasir Janjua, Maher Ghulam Jilani and Khurram Yousaf, after a PECA court dismissed their pre-arrest bail application.
The FIA summoned PML-N leaders, Senator Pervaiz Rashid and PML-N Punjab Information Secretary Uzma Bokhari to appear before the investigation team on December 30, 2019, whereas PML-N’s Deputy Secretary General Attaullah Tarar was summoned to appear on December 27, 2019, at the FIA’s office in Lahore to record his statement.
|29||August 04, 2019||Telegraph Act, MPO||Kot Addu: The police arrested Ali Akbar Pirhar for allegedly posting “hate material” against state “institutions” and “sensitive” agencies and for supporting Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) on social media. The police said they registered FIR No. 469/2019 against him under Sections 25-D Telegraph Act 1885 and Section 16 of the MPO, and also seized Pirhar’s mobile phone used to upload the posts. According to the FIR, the accused criticised the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and was trying to incite people to violence against state institutions through his posts.
|28||August 02, 2019||-||Talagang, Chakwal: The FIA arrested PML-N’s former Secretary General of Tehsil Talagang, Malik Atif Suleman, on charges of posting content against intelligence agencies.
|27||July 18, 2019||PECA||Lahore: A special judicial magistrate allowed the FIA to lodge a case against Siddiq Butt for allegedly sharing “derogatory” material on social media regarding the family of former chief of army staff (COAS) Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani under Sections 20 and 24 of PECA.
|26||July 17, 2019||-||Islamabad: The FIA Cyber Crime Circle (CCC) arrested Mian Tariq Mehmood for allegedly making a video of Accountability Court judge Arshad Malik, which was released on social media by Maryam Nawaz Sharif. In the leaked video, the judge allegedly admitted to there being lack of evidence against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who was convicted by the same judge in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference in December 2018.
The accused, Mian Tariq, when produced before the court, mentioned that he was tortured and that his bones were broken as a result. In response to this, the court ordered the investigation officer to produce Tariq’s medical report on the next date of hearing (July 19, 2019). The accused was produced before the court and sent to jail on judicial remand for 14 days.
Director General FIA transferred the inquiry from Cyber Crime Circe to FIA’s Counter Terrorism Wing (CTW) which was probing the case under Anti Terrorism Act and Pakistan Penal Code. The FIA filed an application before designated PECA court, requesting that the trial be transferred to the Anti Terrorism Court (ATC). The trial was transferred to ATC.
Faisal Shaheen and Hamza Arif Butt, a nephew of the main accused Nasir Butt, were also arrested. On October 14, 2019, sent accused Shaheen on seven days judicial remand while the physical remand of Hamza extended for another three days.
On July 27, 2020, the ATC approved the accused’s plea under Section 23 of the ATA and ordered the removal of ATA sections from the challan. The court also ordered the prosecution to submit the challan of the case before a competent PECA court.
|25||June 17, 2019||PECA, PPC||Gujranwala: An FIR under Sections 11 and 20 of the PECA R/W Sections 500, 505 and 109 of the PPC was lodged against Waleed Butt, President of Hamza Youth Wing Punjab of PML-N, on the complaint of a citizen named Ameer Hamza, following which Butt was arrested a day later.
|24||June 12, 2019||PECA, PPC||Gujranwala: FIA arrested Engineer Khalid Yousuf Ansari upon the complaint of a resident of Gujranwala, Usman Abid. According to FIR No. 26/2019 lodged against him under Sections 20 PECA R/W Sections 500, 505 and 109 of PPC, Ansari was involved in posting defamatory content against Prime Minister Pakistan, Pakistan Army and Judiciary.
|23||April 08, 2019||PECA, PPC||Peshawar: FIR No. 32/2019 was lodged against Ismail Mehsud U/S PECA 10, 11 R/W PPC 109 on the complaint of an Asif Raza. According to the FIR, Ismail Mehsud was involved in commission of “hate speech and false information against Government Institution Pakistan on Facebook accounts.” Mehsud was granted bail.|
|22||April 06, 2019||PECA, PPC||Karachi: FIR No. 06/2019 was lodged against Shahzeb Jillani U/S 10(a), 11 and 20 PECA R/W PPC 34, 109, 500 for allegedly making “defamatory remarks against institutions of Pakistan” on a news programme. The complaint was made by Maulvi Iqbal Haider. Jillani secured pre-arrest bail which was confirmed on April 30, 2019 by the Sessions Court, South Karachi. Section 10(a) and Section 11 were withdrawn from the final challan by the FIA submitted on May 7, 2019. Only a non-cognizable Section 20 of PECA remained. On May18, 2019, FIR No. 06/2019 was disposed off as C class, bringing the case to an end.|
|21||March 28, 2019||-||Islamabad/Rawalpindi: A letter by Director NR3C, dated March 13, 2019, ordered all additional directors of the FIA in Rawalpindi to launch inquiries against six journalists/social media activists, namely Matiullah Jan, Murtaza Solangi, Azaz Syed, Ammar Masood, Umer Cheema and Ahmed Waqas Goraya, for using the picture of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashogi, as their display picture, which was deemed “disrespectful” towards a “visiting dignity/guest.” According to the letter, the listed groups and its members were allegedly “found most active on social media against Mohammad Bin Salman’s visit to Pakistan: Majlis-i-Wahdat-i-Muslimeen (MWM), Imamia Students Organization (ISO), Hizbul Tahrir Pak and Tameer-i-Watan Party.”|
|20||March 16, 2019||PPC, MPO||Bahawalpur: FIR No. 158/2019 lodged against Asim Azhar U/S PPC 124-A and MPO 16 for allegedly posting “anti-government” and “anti-army” comments on Facebook.
|19||February 15, 2019||Telegraph Act||Vehari: FIR No. 129/2019 lodged against Azhar Hussain U/S 25 of the Telegraph Act for allegedly putting up “satirical posts about Imran Khan and Army Chief General Bajwa.”|
|18||February 08, 2019||PECA||Lahore: FIR No. 24/2019 U/S 11 and 20 of PECA R/W 123-A and 500 PPC lodged against Rizwan Razi for allegedly posting “defamatory and obnoxious” content against the judiciary, government institutions and intelligence agencies.
A magisterial court on February 10, 2019, granted bail to Razi, declining the FIA’s request to remand him into its custody for 10 days.
|17||February 14, 2019||PPC, MPO, Punjab Sound Systems (Regulation) Ordinance, 2015||Multan: Four men were arrested for allegedly delivering “hate speech of a sectarian nature and defaming members of the government.” The case was registered U/S PPC 500, 506, 109, MPO 14, 16 and Punjab Sound Systems (Regulation) Ordinance, 2015 3, 6. Allegedly, two of the suspects recorded the speech and uploaded it on Facebook and other social media platforms.
|16||September 26, 2018||PECA, PPC||Islamabad: FIA lodged FIR No. 06/2018 U/S 10(a), 11 and 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crime Act, 2016 R/W Sections 109 and 506 of the Pakistan Penal Code registered against unidentified persons for allegedly uploading “false and malicious material” against the judges of the Islamabad High Court namely Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb on the complaint of the registrar of the IHC.
According to the FIR, the videos in question were uploaded on a YouTube Channel titled “The One Man Army.’ The social media channel was run by Abdul Shakoor under the alias ‘Chacha Shakoor”.
|15||September 19, 2018||PECA, PPC||Islamabad: FIA lodged FIR No. 05/2018 against former Senator Faisal Raza Abidi, Hans Masroor, the owner of a web channel Naya Pakistan, and the producer of the channel Ahsan Saleem U/S 10(a), 11 and 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crime Act, 2016 R/W Sections 109 and 509 of the Pakistan Penal Code, for allegedly running “anti-judiciary” content on their channel.
On October 2, 2018, the court accepted interim bail of Faisal Raza Abidi. Faisal Raza Abidi was arrested outside the Supreme Court (SC) building on 10 October 2018.
The Adiala jail authorities released Faisal Raza Abidi on 22 December 2018 after receiving his bail orders issued by the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
On 18 July 2019, Court acquitted Faisal Raza Abidi from the charges.
|14||September 19, 2018||ATA, PPC||Islamabad: FIR 203/2018 was lodged against former Senator Faisal Raza Abidi registered U/S 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) R/W Sections 500, 501, 505 (II), 228, 121 and 109 of the PPC in response to a complaint lodged by the Supreme Court’s Public Relations Officer, Shahid Hussain Kambyo, for allegedly using "highly insulting and inappropriate language against the chief justice” on a web show.
Faisal Raza Abidi wasarrested outside the Supreme Court building on October 10, 2018.
The Adiala jail authorities released Faisal Raza Abidi on December 22, 2018, after receiving his bail orders issued by the Islamabad High Court.
On May 2, 2019, the Anti-Terrorism Court acquitted Faisal Raza Abidi, Hans Masroor and Ahsan Saleem, of all charges. However, the anchor person who hosted the interview was declared a proclaimed offender and arrest warrants were issued.
|13||July 11, 2018||PECA||Dera Ismail Khan/Rawalpindi: Taken into custody on June 5, 2018, FIR No. 31/2018 was lodged against Hayat Preghal U/S PECA 9, 10 R/W PPC 500, 109 for allegedly posting content “critical of Pakistani state policies” on social media.
On September 27, 2018, Preghal was granted bailPreghal was granted bail by the Islamabad High Court on the condition that he surrender his passport to the court, have his name placed on the Exit Control List (ECL), while the FIA monitored all his activities on social media.
|12||July 02, 2018||PECA||Jhelum/Lahore: FIA arrested Haroon Ali, a supporter of PML-N, for allegedly running a bogus Facebook account by the name “Ro Imran Ro.” According to, PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhary, the page was maligning him. In his complaint, Chaudhary said that a malicious campaign was being run on social media against him which not only affected his political image but was also causing sectarian hatred thus endangering his life.
An FIA cybercrime team raided Ali’s residence in the Dina area in Jhelum and arrested him. Speaking to Dawn, deputy director FIA said: “The suspect posted malicious content against PTI leaders including fake posts of Mr Chaudhry related to Mumtaz Qadri, who killed Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, and it could have endangered his life.” A case was registered under Section 24 of PECA.
|11||October 19, 2017||PECA, PPC||Rawalpindi/Islamabad: Two PML-N social media activists namely Anwar Adil and Wajid Rasul Malik were arrested by the FIA for allegedly posting “defamatory material against judges of the Supreme Court as well as members of the armed forces and the government.” FIR No. 15/2017 was lodged against Anwar Adil Tanoli, charged U/S 9, 10(a), 20 of PECA R/W Sections 500, 501, 505, 109, 34 PPC. Two female party workers of the PML-N’s social media wing, in a letter addressed to the then Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal, reported harassment by the FIA.
|10||June 25, 2017||PECA||Quetta: Journalist Zafarullah Achakzai,Z an employee of Daily Qudrat, was arrested for allegedly posting “anti-army” content on social media. He was granted bail on July 4, 2017, against a bond amount of Rs. 80,000.
On 13.11.2019, a judicial magistrate acquitted Zafarullah Achakzai “due to insufficient evidence and contradiction in the statements of the witness.”
|9||June 05, 2017||-||Islamabad: FIA identified 27 people allegedly engaged in “anti-army propaganda” out of which seven were called in for questioning, their electronic equipment was seized and sent for forensic analysis - without a formal charge.
|8||May 30, 2017||PECA||Lahore: FIR 53/2017 was lodged against Adnan Afzal Qureshi U/S 20 and 24 PECA R/W PPC 419, 500, 506. The FIA claimed the activist was arrested for allegedly posting “anti-military tweets” and using “abusive language against military personnel and political leaders.”|
|7||May 23, 2017||-||Gujranwala/Islamabad/Peshawar: Umair Talat was reportedly picked up from Gujranwala and brought to the FIA’s headquarters in Islamabad.
In a separate incident, PTI social media activist Furqan Kakakhel reported the party office was ransacked over the weekend and DSLR cameras, USBs and memory cards were missing.
|6||May 21, 2017||-||Islamabad: The FIA summoned and detained six individuals for questioning regarding their social media posts allegedly “against the armed forces and state institutions.”
|5||May 20, 2017||-||Islamabad: A member of PTI’s social media team, Owais Khan,was taken into custody by the FIA for an alleged “violation of the cybercrime law.”
|4||May 18, 2017||-||Islamabad: Journalist Taha Siddiqui received a phone call from an FIA officer instructing him to appear for questioning at the FIA office in Islamabad.
Siddiqui moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against intimidation and harassment by the FIA. The IHC issued notices to the FIA to appear before court on May 29, 2017, restraining them from harassing the petitioner and instructed them to proceed in accordance with the law. Despite court orders, the FIA issued a summon directing Siddiqui to appear before them for questioning, warning of legal consequences for failure to comply.
|3||May 17, 2017||-||Islamabad: Salar Kakar, a member of the PTI’s social media team, was summoned by the FIA U/S 160 of the CrPC in Enquiry No. 23/2017. Kakar was detained by the Counter-Terrorism Wing of the FIA and asked to submit his laptop and phone.|
|2||March 17, 2017||-||Karachi:Lawyer Jibran Nasir tweeted a summon he received from the the FIA U/S 160 of the CrPC, directing him to appear for an enquiry in Islamabad.|
|1||2016||PECA||Rawalpindi: Zahid Mumtaz, accused of spreading propaganda against the Pakistan Army and state on social media, was convicted by an Additional Sessions Judge in Rawalpindi in November 2019. He was awarded a four-year sentence and a fine of PKR 250,000/- was imposed. Arrested in 2016 by the FIA, Mumtaz was charged under Sections 9 and 10 of PECA.|