PTI holds protests against 'harassment' of party workers

| Updated: May 23, 2017 07:13 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], May 23 (ANI): Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leaders and workers on Monday took to streets in major cities across the country to protest against raids conducted at the office of party's social media activist in Peshawar and Federal Investigation Agency's (FIA) alleged crackdown in connection with the suspected violations of cyber crime law. The PTI dubbed the raids as harassment of their party workers by law enforcing agencies and an attempt to curb the right of freedom of expression. The office of party's social media activist in Peshawar was reportedly ransacked by unidentified individuals on Monday. Dawn quoted PTI activist Syed Furqan Kakakhel as saying that the office was his personal space, where he worked as a party volunteer to promote PTI's vision on social media. The party held protests outside the respective press clubs in Karachi, Quetta and Islamabad. PTI leader Asad Umar addressed the protesters in Karachi, Fawad Chaudhry in Islamabad and other local leaders in Quetta. The PTI leaders alleged that in the pas,t the PML-N government was responsible for hatching conspiracies against the electronic media, and now they are aiming to curb the social media. The party has also warned the government that the agitation will be extended if harassment of its workers is not stopped. The FIA had on Saturday reportedly taken another member of PTI's social media team, Owais Khan, into custody over alleged violations of Pakistan's cyber-crime laws. PTI leader Fawad Chaudhary told the protestors in Islamabad that the government was trying to silence them. He questioned the FIA's practices, saying that they call PTI's young activists for investigation and after which they keep them under custody overnight. "It is unacceptable that one of our activists was charged for sharing a 'funny' picture of Nawaz Sharif on social media," he added. Talking to media, PTI leader Ali Muhammad Khan said the government is using the army as a shield and forwarding its own agenda. Terming the government's crackdown on people using social media as "anti-democratic", PTI chief Imran Khan said that the social media is a new phenomenon in Pakistan and in the world and it can't be stopped. Earlier, Khan had accused Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif led- PML-N government of abusing the cybercrime law to victimise PTI's social media activists. (ANI)