The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested Waleed Butt, a leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) youth wing for uploading hateful and rebellious content against state departments on social media. Asif Iqbal who is in-charge of the cyber-crime wing of the FIA confirmed the news and said that Waleed Butt was arrested after the authorities registered a case against him.
The crime wing in-charge Mr. Iqbal while talking to a private news agency said that Waleed Butt who was previously the president of the PML-N’s youth wing in Gujranwala was posting hateful content in social media against the state institutions of Pakistan. He further added, “Butt had used inappropriate language against the judiciary, army officers and Prime Minister Imran Khan”.
A first information report (FIR) against Butt was registered at the sub-circle of the FIA Cyber Crime Circle in Gujranwala on Monday, on the complaint of a local citizen named Ameer Hamza. The FIR was registered under Sections 11 and 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 (Peca). This cybercrime law had faced a massive criticism by civil rights campaigners and was termed as ‘draconian’ when the law was passed by the Nawaz Sharif-led PML-N government.
In addition to this law, Section 500 (punishment for defamation), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), and 109 (punishment of abetment if the Act abetted committed in consequence and where no express provision is made for its punishment), also received a major criticism during the time of their passage.
It is important to mention here that when Imran Khan was in opposition, he and his party posted the same type of hateful and rebellious content on social media against PML-N, to attract supporters to bring down the PML-N’s government. It seems a bit biased that why PTI govt can’t handle the criticism now.
Should the PTI government arrest people who criticize them on social media? Isn’t freedom of speech important now? What is your opinion on this?