Islamabad High Court orders PTI leaders to cooperate in social media post investigation

The Islamabad High Court has directed PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Ali Khan and spokesperson Raoof Hasan to participate in an ongoing investigation concerning a controversial social media post shared on the verified X account of party founder Imran Khan. The court, however, restrained the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) from any harassment of the PTI leadership during the probe.

The investigation pertains to a post made on May 26, which included a montage quoting Imran Khan urging the public to examine the Hamoodur Rahman Commission report and question “who was the true traitor, General Yahya Khan or Sheikh Mujibur Rahman”. This post, deemed “highly obnoxious and inciting” by the FIA, allegedly incited discontent within state institutions.

Following the court’s instructions, Barrister Gohar and Raoof Hasan appeared before an FIA investigation team led by officer Muneeb Zafar. Despite their legal counsel, Advocate Khalid Yousaf Chaudhry, accompanying them, he was not allowed to participate in the interrogation process.

Court proceedings and defense arguments

Advocate Niazullah Khan Niazi, representing the PTI leaders, argued in court that the post was intended to foster national dialogue and mitigate the ongoing crisis in the country. He highlighted that Imran Khan, detained for over 10 months, had no control over his X account during this period. Advocate Niazi urged the court to quash the FIA notices and prevent further harassment of PTI members.

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, overseeing the case, ordered the petitioners to present themselves before the relevant authorities for questioning and assured them that no adverse actions would be taken against them until the next hearing scheduled for June 25.

Interrogation details

During the interrogation, the FIA focussed on the administration of Imran Khan’s social media accounts. Barrister Gohar and Raoof Hasan were questioned for an hour and 35 minutes, respectively. The inquiry included questions about Azhar Mishwani, Imran Khan’s focal person for social media, and Jibran Ilyas, head of the PTI’s social media team.

Sources revealed that while Raoof Hasan provided limited information regarding the individuals in question, Barrister Gohar acknowledged their roles in managing PTI’s social media content. Hasan emphasised his role was confined to print and electronic media, denying any involvement with social media activities. He also disclaimed knowledge or approval of the controversial content, particularly the army chief’s photograph featured in the video.

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