FIA Arrested Qazi Jalal in Peshawar for Posting an Illegal Tweet

Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested a twitter activist Qazi Jalal from Peshawar for updating a tweet on 22nd September, they charged him for violating the Electronic Transaction Ordinance of 2002, specially clause 36: Violation of Privacy of Information and 37: Damage to Information Systems.

It looks like the case drifts around a number of tweets made by Qazi Jalal on 22nd September where he updated an engagement card of Mr Faizan Malik who could be the son-in-law of Honorable Justice Irshad Qaiser, the judge who had according to Qazi Jalal granted bail to Ihsan Ali the Vice Chancellor of Abdul  Wali Khan University who was detained a few days prior on corruption charges.  Faizan Malik is a lecturer who has also been under examination, of the 1400 appointees who were welcomed into the university during the ANP time period beginning his job as a lecturer in May 2012. On Wednesday, Qazi Jalal was handed over to FIA for two days remand. On Wednesday, Qazi Jalal was handed over to FIA for two days remand.

FIA Arrested Qazi Jalal in Peshawar for Posting an Illegal Tweet

On 15th September Ihsan Ali, the VC of Abdul Wali Khan University and three other professors were arrested by Ehtesab Commission and referred to a 14-day remand to Peshawar Central Jail for association in corruption to the tune of Rs 550 Million, the media issued reports on this arrest partially siding with the ANP narrative. The case took an interesting turn when after seven days on 22nd September, Ihsan Ali was given bail by the Honorable Justice Irshad Qaiser.

The on-ground news from Peshawar is that, FIA is answering and harassing Qazi Jalal on contempt of court charges started by Justice Irshad Qaiser. The more relevant issue is if this tweet was wrong as considered by the honorable judge, Qazi Jalal should have been asked by the honorable judge, even in pursuant of a suitable legal proceeding to ask him to remove or apologize for this imprecise information.

This is a very important development, the Cyber Crime Bill which is currently in the National Assembly of Pakistan for endorsement in its current form, is also a key example of what could happen if such weak laws are propagated it allows unreliable state agencies to abuse ambiguous restrictions to annoy the residents of Pakistan on the weakest reasons, the present ETO clause 36 and 37 falls well outside demesne of this arrest but the agencies found a valid reason to arrest and harass Jalal.

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