Pak journalist booked for misquoting Imran Khan over 'disrespectful' religious remarks

Aug 29, 2022 05:07 AM IST

FIR mentioned statements that, according to the complainant, "disrespected" Islam.

A Pakistani journalist was booked for allegedly attributing "disrespectful" statements about Islam to former Prime Minister Imran Khan, according to local media.

Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan.(AFP file pic)
Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan.(AFP file pic)

Rawalpindi police have registered a case against journalist Waqar Satti at RA Bazar police station on Saturday, Dawn newspaper reported on Sunday.

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The case was registered on the complaint of a cable operator, Chaudhry Nasir Qayyum, under Sections 295-A and 500 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

According to the first information report (FIR) cited by Dawn, the complainant told the police that while he was at his office on August 24, he came across a tweet in which a man, identified as Waqar Satti, explained why he "hates" Imran and reasons of him going against the former prime minister.

FIR mentioned statements that, according to the complainant, "disrespected" Islam.

"Imran Khan has not mentioned any such words mentioned in Waqar Satti's tweet -- in any of his speeches," the FIR quoted the complainant as saying.

He added that Satti's actions had hurt his religious sentiments, "as well as that of thousands of other Muslims".

In Pakistan, freedom of the press continues to deteriorate, a senior journalist was shot dead by unidentified assailants on Saturday.

The incident took place in the Toba Tek Singh province of Pakistan's Punjab when the deceased journalist, Muhammad Younis was on his way to his farmland at Mouza Manganwala on his motorcycle when two men hiding in a field opened gunfire, according to Dawn.

The shooting incident left the journalist dead on the spot and the attackers then fled the scene.

Taking notice of the brutal murder, the Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Faisal Shahkar has sought a report from Faisalabad Regional Police Officer (RPO) Babar Sarfraz Alpa.

Moreover, Jhang District Police Officer (DPO) Rashid Hidayat ordered the immediate arrest of the journalist's killers, constituting a team consisting of Shorkot deputy superintendent of police (DSP) and other expert officers to probe the incident, Dawn reported.

The curb on media freedom in Pakistan has highlighted that media freedom has been under serious question in the South-Asian country.

The everyday hardships faced by journalists who risk their lives in mostly low-paid jobs to fulfil a critical role in Pakistan continue to be subjected to incessant violence and abductions.

Media workers, both field reporters and desk staff are increasingly experiencing either harassment or financial hardship or both. They are being threatened, silenced and squeezed. Be it a prime-time TV anchor or a beat reporter, the threats exist for everyone.

Even media group owners are not immune to such harassment.

Notably, Pakistan has been ranked the fifth most dangerous place for the practice of journalism, according to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).

According to the media reports, 138 media persons in the country lost their lives in the line of duty between 1990 and 2020. Pakistan remains among the top 10 countries where predators of attacks on journalists and media go unpunished.

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