Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), after a report filed by a girl, has arrested a man named Azhar Safdar for harassing her on Facebook. The accused was brought before the court and asked to disprove the allegations made by the girl. After failing to do so the court has sentenced the man to 14 months in prison along with Rs. 200,000 fine.
Federal Investigation Agency arrested the man under Prevention of Electronic Crime Act 2016. Although the bill has many good sides such as taking action against those who are involved in online abuse and frauds, it has been condemned by opposition parties in Pakistan’s parliament. The parties argue that government has passed this law to curb freedom of speech in the country and to take action against online activists who defer with government’s policies and writes against the government on social media platforms.
Aside from harsh criticism by political parties, the country still needs laws to regulate social platforms as online abuse is rising in the country. However, the government should replace the laws that seem ambiguous and could be used by the government against its political foes.
The above-mentioned case is not new in Pakistan. Just recently a man named Munir was sent to prison for 12 years over harassing a woman on Facebook. A unique case also emerged from Sialkot where a woman was arrested by FIA and later convicted by the court over harassing a man on a social site.
Another cyber-criminal was jailed for two years for photoshopping and uploading the pictures of girls on the internet. The cyber law ensures safety for online users. Any illegal activity on social sites such as sharing sectarian content, pornography and cyber-stalking some online will lead to a severe punishment.