A judicial magistrate has remanded a journalist into FIA custody for three days over his “anti-state” remarks on social media.
The FIA has accused Azharul Haq Wahid, who works for TV Today, of defaming state institutions.
An FIR has been registered against Wahid under sections 11 (hate speech) and 20 (harming the reputation or privacy of a natural person) of the Prevention of Electronic Crime Act 2016, and sections 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
A person can be imprisoned for up to seven years or fined up to under Section 11. Section 20 is punishable by a jail term of three and/or a fine of Rs1 million, while the maximum sentence under Section 505 is seven years.
Wahid’s lawyer argued that if it is wrong to criticise the government and former president Pervez Musharraf then everyone in Pakistan should be arrested.
Judicial magistrate Yasir Arafat has ordered the FIA to present him in court on January 20.