Pak court refuses to intervene in journalist’s plea against his arrest

TV journalist Imran Riaz Khan was arrested by Pakistan’s Punjab police on the outskirts of the capital on Tuesday night.

Islamabad High Court (File/AFP)

A top court in Pakistan on Wednesday refused to intervene in the arrest of a prominent TV journalist known for publicly supporting former Prime Minister Imran Khan and a vocal critic of the Army and its leadership.

TV journalist Imran Riaz Khan was arrested by the Punjab police on the outskirts of the capital on Tuesday night. The arrest of the TV journalist comes weeks after a court in Islamabad ordered police not to arrest him and several other journalists after complaints were lodged accusing them of inciting hatred against the military.

The journalist had moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against his arrest. However, the IHC on Wednesday returned the petition over the jurisdiction issue by directing him to approach the Lahore High Court (LHC).

Khan, the former premier, took to Twitter to condemn the arrest.

Earlier, journalist Khan was moved to Attock city police station by the police. Police said he was arrested in a case registered against the journalist at the city police station on June 25 for inciting violence.

The journalist is a vocal supporter of ousted premier Khan. He is extremely critical of the Army and its leadership in the wake of the no-confidence vote against Khan.

More than a dozen FIRs have been registered against him in various cities for hate speech and preaching violence.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf reacted angrily to his arrest and party leader Farrukh Habib said it was a violation of free speech.

“We condemn the arrest of Imran Riaz Khan. Right to differ cannot be suppressed through force and those advising you (government) to do so are your enemies not friends,” he tweeted.

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