Senior journalist and anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan have been arrested on multiple charges under the Pakistan Penal Code and Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016. He was taken into police custody from the Islamabad toll plaza. Speaking with Reporters Diary, a police official confirmed that a senior journalist was held in Police station Attock city after this arrest.
Interestingly, Imran Riaz Khan has been booked under section 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 which is declared unconstitutional and illegal by the honourable Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court Athar Minallah. In a written order, honourable Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court declared that the PECA Ordinance and section 20 of PECA law violate articles 9,14,19 and 19-A of the constitution of Pakistan.
Journalist Imran Khan remained vocal against foreign involvement in Pakistan’s political affairs and raised questions on the regime change operation against ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan. Since April 11 when new Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif was sworn in as PM, around 20 FIRs have been registered against journalist Imran Riaz Khan.
At the time of arrest, the senior journalist released a video message in which he alleged an officer of a security agency for managing this plot. “I will not scum to these dirty pressure tactics. First police cancelled the license of my weapons and then they took my car. I will continue raising questions and I am not afraid of the consequences.” Said Imran Riaz Khan.
After the arrest, his legal team approached Islamabad High Court and pleaded to issue a contempt of court notice to police for violating the orders of IHC. Islamabad High Court disposed of this petition and asked the counsels of Imran Riaz Khan to approach Lahore High Court.
Punjab Law minister justified this arrest and accused senior Journalists of toeing the agenda of the opposition party PTI. During a press conference, Punjab Law minister Malik Mohammad Ahmed Khan also alleged that Journalist Imran Riaz Khan maligned state institutions “on purpose” and he is part of a malicious campaign that is being run again state institutions.
In the recent past, the senior leaders of the ruling coalition including Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz used derogatory remarks against state institutions and maligned the top brass of the Pakistan Army but they never got arrested on such charges and journalists are being abducted on assumptions based allegations.