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Sunday July 14, 2024

PTI leaders summoned before FIA over Imran's '1971 tweet'

PTI leaders Gohar Khan, Omar Ayub Khan and Raoof Hasan directed to appear before agency on Wednesday

By Zarmeen Zehra
June 01, 2024
PTI Chairman Gohar Khan, Opposition Leader Omar Ayub Khan and partys Information Secretary Raoof Hassan. —AFP/File
PTI Chairman Gohar Khan, Opposition Leader Omar Ayub Khan and party's Information Secretary Raoof Hassan. —AFP/File 

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Saturday summoned three more Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders in connection with an inquiry into controversial video on 1971 fall of Dhaka posted from party founder Imran Khan's official X handle.

As per the notices, PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Khan, Secretary General Omar Ayub Khan and Information Secretary Raoof Hasan have been summoned before the probe agency at 11am on Wednesday.

The controversial post on X, formerly Twitter, was attributed to the deposed premier, which read: "Every Pakistani should study the Hamood ur Rahman Commission Report and get to know who was the true traitor, General Yahya Khan or Sheikh Mujibur Rahman."

On Thursday, the FIA's Cyber Crime Reporting Center notified the PTI founder, who remains incarcerated at Adiala jail, of initiating an action against him over his controversial tweet and reached the prison later that night to question him.

However, the former premier had refused to meet the probe agency’s anti-cybercrime team and become part of the probe related to his controversial social media post.

The FIA had raised objection on the alleged “misuse” of Imran’s verified X account through which “highly obnoxious and inciting content against state institutions” had been shared.

The notice, a copy of which is available with Geo News, stated that the said post was “likely to cause fear or alarm in the public and may induce/provoke anyone to commit an offence against the state or state institution or public tranquility”.

The PTI trio was directed to appear in person before FIA Sub-Inspector Muhammad Monib Zafar to record their statements in their defence at the FIA Cyber Crime Reporting Centre on Wednesday “in the interest of justice”.

“In case of non-appearance, proceedings u/s 174 PPC. will be initiated against you,” the notification said, referring to Pakistan Penal Code Section 174 (non-attendance in obedience to an order from public servant).

It may be noted that the PTI members including the three top leaders, Ali Muhammad Khan and National Assembly member Zain Qureshi seemed confused over its endorsement or a clear rejection of the controversial post from the founder's X handle.

Commenting on the questionable X post, the party’s lawmaker Ali Muhammad Khan claimed on Friday that Imran Khan was unaware of the post and decided to “personally approve” social media content in future.

The PTI lawmaker dissociated the imprisoned former premier from the controversial video posted on the latter’s verified X account which drew severe criticism from all quarters, including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Meanwhile, Barrister Gohar said that the video was shared on Imran’s X account in the current political scenario.

On the other hand, Hasan first demanded the conducting of a probe and then retracted his statement by saying that he did not watch the video.

After facing a strong wave of criticism, the party’s core committee said in a statement a day earlier that they rejected the FIA probe into Imran’s social media post. It added that the registration of a new case against the PTI founder based on a social media post would be unwarranted.