The Federal Investigation Agency in Pakistan on Sunday said it has launched an inquiry against journalist Sami Ibrahim for spreading “anti-state videos and statements” on social media platforms.
Ibrahim, who hosts a show on Bol News, has also been accused of spreading fake news about government organisations in Pakistan.
Recently, a video of Ibrahim, criticising Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa had gone viral on social media, according to PTI.
“He [Ibrahim] has made imputations which are glaring attempts to incite armed forces personnel to mutiny,” the Federal Investigation Agency said in a press release on Sunday. “He has attempted to create chaos in Pakistan through media while staying abroad.”
The intelligence agency said that Ibrahim would be given an opportunity to defend himself in the case. The statement said that a case would be registered against the journalist if an offence was made out against him, followed by a subsequent arrest and prosecution in the court of law.
On the other hand, Ibrahim said that he has received a notice to appear before the Federal Investigation Agency’s cyber reporting crime centre in Islamabad.
“I have discussed this matter with my lawyer Raja Amir Abbas who has told FIA that I am out of the country now,” Ibrahim said in a tweet. “I will take necessary legal action after my return on May 14.”
Pakistan Army’s warning
Notably, hours after the announcement of the investigation against Ibrahim, the Pakistan Army in a statement said that it takes “strong exception” to the “intensified and deliberate attempts” to drag its name into the country’s political discourse since the removal of former Prime Minister Imran Khan from his office, PTI reported.
On April 10, Khan was ousted as prime minister after a no-confidence motion against his government was passed in the National Assembly of Pakistan. He had alleged the motion was moved by the Opposition in collusion with the United States. His political opponent, Shehbaz Sharif, was elected as the country’s new prime minister on April 11.
“Recently, there have been intensified and deliberate attempts to drag Pakistan’s Armed Forces and their leadership in ongoing political discourse in the country,” the Army said in the statement. “These attempts are manifest through direct, insinuated or nuanced references to Armed Forces as well as their senior leadership, made by some political leaders, few journalists and analysts on public forums and various communication platforms including social media.”
According to Dawn, multiple “anti-army hashtags” have generated a volume of over 170 lakh tweets in the last few days. The campaign is primarily led by supporters of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party.