Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf held protests in major cities across the country on Monday following a raid at the office of a PTI’s social media activist in Peshawar and Federal Investigation Agency’s alleged crackdown in connection with the suspected violations of cyber crime law.
Terming the move as an attempt to curb the right of freedom of expression, the party held protest demonstrations in Karachi, Quetta and Islamabad. The office of a PTI volunteer working for the party’s social media wing in Peshawar was reportedly ransacked by unidentified individuals earlier in the day.
PTI activist Syed Furqan Kakakhel said the office was his personal space, where he worked as a party volunteer to “promote PTI’s vision on social media”. All the three demonstrations were held outside the respective press clubs of the three cities.
PTI leader Asad Umar addressed the protesters in Karachi, Fawad Chaudhry in Islamabad and other local leaders in Quetta.
The protesting leaders alleged that in the past, the PML-N’s government was responsible for hatching conspiracies against the electronic media and now the rulers are aiming to curb the social media.
They also warned the government to extend the agitation and hold sit-ins.
The decision by PTI to launch protests in different cities came in the wake of the alleged harassment of its party workers.
A day earlier, the party had claimed that Owais Khan, another member of PTI’s social media team, was taken into custody by FIA over alleged violations of Pakistan’s cyber-crime laws.
PTI leader Imran Ismail, talking to media had confirmed that Owais Khan “was taken into custody [by FIA] on Saturday.”
While announcing the Islamabad protest, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhary said: “They [the government] are trying to silence us.”
“What Chaudhary Nisar is doing will hurt this country,” Chaudhary added, referring to the interior minister’s orders to the FIA to identify suspects involved in what the ministry calls an “organised” campaign against the country’s armed forces on social media.
“Our social media head’s office was raided [in Peshawar] and he believes that the people who did it belonged to the FIA,” Chaudhary alleged.