ISLAMABAD: Interior and Narcotics Control Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has taken notice of a report about the registration of a First Information Report (FIR) against bloggers by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
The ministry wants to know how the FIA could register a case without any inquiry.
For several weeks the bloggers and their families had roiled through a period of turmoil and uncertainty, a statement released by the ministry said.
“And who gave FIA the authority to increase their worries?” it remarked.
Hafiz Ahtasham Ahmed had submitted an application with the FIA station in Iqbal Town, stating that the authority should act against the bloggers for allegedly spreading blasphemous content on social media under Section 295C of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
The FIA had also barred Professor Salman Haider from travelling abroad until the conclusion of the case on an application of the Shuhada Foundation. Judicial Magistrate Abdul Ghafoor Kakar granted formal permission for lodging the case and initiation of the investigation against five bloggers.
Earlier, an application for registering a blasphemy case against the four missing activists under the section 295-C was also filed in the federal capital’s I-9 police station.
The application submitted by Muhammad Tahir, chairman of the “Civil Society of Pakistan,” alleged that the missing activists including Salman Haider and Waqas Goraya had been hosting Facebook pages with highly “inflammatory and blasphemous” content.
A lecturer at Rawalpindi’s Fatima Jinnah Women University and a rights activist, Haider had been missing since the evening of January 6. Before his mobile phone was switched off on that day, he had texted his wife that he was going for some necessary work and asked her to collect his car from the Korang Town area of the capital.
A day after his mysterious disappearance, his family had got an FIR registered against his alleged kidnapping. In the CCTV footage, the police had noticed a suspicious car tailing Haider’s vehicle. Police also found out that the number plate of the suspicious car was forged.
Two other social media activists, Waqas Goraya and Asim Saeed, disappeared from Lahore earlier on January 4 while bloggers Ahmed Raza Naseer and Samar Abbas went missing from Sheikhupura and Islamabad on January 7 and January 11, respectively.
No group claimed responsibility for the ‘abductions’ but Human Rights Watch and other rights groups said their near simultaneous disappearances raised concerns of government involvement, which officials and intelligence sources have denied.