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Qazi Jalal arrested in Peshawar for a Tweet

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UPDATE 1: 2:55pm Wednesday 28th October
UPDATE 2: 6:40pm Wednesday 28th October
UPDATE 3: 4:00 pm Friday 30th October
UPDATE 4: RELEASED ON BAIL 11:30 am Tuesday 3rd November

Today the FIA arrested a twitter activist @JalalQazi from Peshawar for posting a tweet on 22nd Sept, they placed upon him charges for violating the Electronic Transaction Ordinance of 2002 specifically clause 36: Violation of Privacy of Information and 37: Damage to Information Systems (read clauses below) these are, as per my understanding (?), non-bailable offences permitting the FIA unbridled arrest of Jalal Qazi for up to 90 days without follow-up

Digging into the issue after his arrest, it seems the case hovers around a set of tweets made by Qazi Jalal on 22nd September (tweets deleted) where he posted referencing to an engagement card of a certain Mr Faizan Malik – who could be the son-in-law of Honorable Justice Irshad Qaiser, the judge who had according to Qazi Jalal granted bail to Ihsan Ali the Vice Chancellor of Abdul  Wali Khan University who was arrested a few days earlier on corruption charges.  Faizan Malik is a lecturer who has also been under investigation, of the 1400 appointees who were inducted into the university during the ANP tenure – starting his tenure as a lecturer in May 2012.  His CV hosted on the university website establishes the linkage of Faizan Malik as listed on the engagement card is the same as his fathers name listed there is the same, being the son of Ghulam Mohy-ud-Din Malik

On 15th September Ihsan Ali, the VC of Abdul Wali Khan University and three other educationalists were arrested by Ehtesab Commission and sent to a 14-day remand to Peshawar Central Jail for involvement in corruption to the tune of Rs 550 Million, the media published reports on this arrest partially siding with the ANP narrative and playing a sympathetic anti-educationist angle almost as if to blame Ehtesab commission for wrongdoing.  The case took an interesting twist when seven days later on 22nd September, Ihsan Ali was granted bail by the Honorable Justice Irshad Qaiser.  Which may have, in normal circumstances been a routine bail, but had it not been for some investigative sleuthing of Qazi Jalal who dug out an engagement card possibly establishing a conflict-of-interest between the honorable judge and her to be son-in-law Faizan Malik a lecturar at Abdul Wali Khan University, and possibly undergoing the same investigation

The on-ground reports from Peshawar is that, FIA is responding and harassing Qazi Jalal on possibly contempt of court charges started by Justice Irshad Qaiser, Ihsan Ali the bailed VC, ANP Senator Sitara Ayaz (who is ironically also subverting arrests from Ehtesab Commission under ‘stay orders’ issued by Honorable Justice Irshad Qaiser, Qazi Jalal reported on the Senators case as well) the case is also being propped up fully pushed by the  corrupt ANP party as they are intrinsically involved in the corruption scandal.

The more pertinent issue is if this tweet was wrong as deemed by the honorable judge, Qazi Jalal should have been asked by the honorable judge, even in pursuant of a proper legal proceeding to ask him to delete &/or apologize for this inaccurate information, but quite ironically it seems they may have chosen to bully and harass Qazi Jalal using the FIA to exercise the ETO ordinance 2002, which if you read the clauses below, there is truly no direct violation under which Qazi Jalal should be arrested, unless they choose to draw hypothetical conclusions to the wordings of the law, best part is that a tweet gathering a mere 8 retweets was deemed damaging the repute of the people involved in the AWKU and others directly/indirectly involved that required such drastic harassment

This is a very serious development, the Cyber Crime Bill which is presently in the National Assembly of Pakistan for approval in its present form, is also a prime example of what could happen if such weak laws are promulgated – it allows irresponsible state agencies to abuse vague injunctions to harass the citizens of Pakistan on the flimsiest of excuses, the present ETO clause 36 and 37 falls well outside realm of this arrest but the agencies found enough of an excuse to arrest & harass Jalal – It could happen to you too


 

UPDATE 1: Wednesday 28th October 2:55pm : Its interesting to dig around to find out how Qazi Jalal had access to the engagement card, it has come to our attention that Qazi Jalal tweeted this image of the card after spotting it on his facebook friends Haybat Khan’s timeline

The original poster made the update on 22nd Sept 12:47pm and Qazi Jalal made a post almost 8 hours after on 22nd Sept 9:14pm.  The FIA if are interested in a credible investigation should pursue the original content from Facebook (credit for the find Sidra Imran)


UPDATE 2: Wednesday 28th October 6:40pm:  Reports are coming in that all day efforts were being made by family and the local jirga to come to some understanding and have a Muafi Nama (Apology) signed between the parties, but we’ve have just found out that Qazi Jalal has been handed over to the FIA for a 2-day remand by the court.  Seems a contempt of court charge has also been tacked onto this case


UPDATE 3: Friday 30th October 4:00pm:  Qazi Jalal appeared before the sessions court judge for the hearing, the Judges family has refused to accept the apology – despite having forced / convinced him to sign it in the fist place, the sessions court judge remanded him to 14-days in Peshawar Central Jail – the jail conditions are horrible, its deplorable – I personally have seen the copy of the FIR the case is only registered as a violation of ETO 36 and 37 there is no Contempt of Court Charge.  The next hearing is expected to be Wednesday 4th November


UPDATE 4: Tuesday 3rd November 11:30am JALAL QAZI RELEASED ON BAIL:  After much of a traumatic experience it has been reported that Jalal Qazi was granted interim bail and released from Peshawar Jail – the reports are that the family came to some understanding to manipulate his release before wednesday.  Keep in mind this does not mean the issue is all sorted out, it only means Jalal Qazi has been harassed enough that they choose to release him on bail for sometime


 

Electronic Transaction Ordinance of 2002 – Clause 36 & 37 reads

36. Violation of privacy of information.—Any person who gains or attempts to gain access to any information system with or without intent to acquire the information contained therein or to gain knowledge of such information, whether or not he is aware of the nature or contents of such information, when he is not authorised to gain access, as aforesaid, shall be guilty of an offence under this Ordinance punishable with either description of a term not exceeding seven years, or fine which may extend to one million rupees, or with both.

37. Damage to information system, etc.— (1) Any person who does or attempts to do any act with intent to alter, modify, delete, remove, generate, transmit or store any information through or in any information system knowingly that he is not authorised to do any of the foregoing, shall be guilty of an offence under this Ordinance.—  (2) Any person who does or attempts to do any act with intent to impair the operation of, or prevent or hinder access to, any information contained in any information system, knowingly that he is not authorised to do any of the foregoing, shall be guilty of an offence under this Ordinance.—  (3) The offences under sub-section (1) and (2) of this section will be punishable with either description of a term not exceeding seven years or fine which may extend to one million rupees, or with both.


11 Comments

  • Viqar Haseeb |

    He must be release, as reference should be initiated against corrupt Judge

  • Bahrul Amin |

    The tweet against the honourable judge is totally false. The bail was given to the VC Ihsan not by her alone but it was given by a bench comprising of chief justice and Irshad Qaisar. More over Faizan Malik is no more her son in law. The daughter of Irshad Qaisar was engaged to Faizan Malik but engagement was broken on the ver third day.

    • Dr. Awab Alvi |

      Either way – if the engagment was broken or the judgment has nothing to do with Justice Irshad – does it entitle a ETO 36 and 37 harassment and arrest of an individual who may have only voiced an opinion (he did share a GENUINE image of the engagment card) who knows what happened to the marriage thats for Justice Irshad to answer – But is this harrassment and arrest the best judicial way to solve a misunderstanding – in the land of dictatorship it seems it is

  • Karima Alim |

    Judges are NOT angels nor are they holy. If a Judge is even accused of something, he or she should resign, let an investigation take place and if they are innocent they can come back and sue the person making allegations. But no one should be hauled up for speaking against a judge. Judges are buried in the same soil as the rest of us, it’s time to stop thhis ‘holier than thou’ misconception that those wearing the robe seem to carry in Pakistan.

  • MCT |

    Alvi Sb, DG FIA, judge and corrupt VC are close family friends. All are from ANP time and before. Qazi is not wrong when he said case was interest conflict but way he said was wrong. It was not son in law because mungni was broke off. It was because of ANP links. This is why Khatak and JKT can not do anything for help.

  • Athar Aamir |

    Political base appointments results in such injustice from justices of society

  • Muhammad Ajmal |

    Imran khan sb ap bhoot he acha ho Allah ap ko kalyab kra Aor ham apka shat hai i love uu khan sb

  • Wahab |

    Well the tweet clearly shows intruding privacy of a serving judge and propagating nonsense showing malafide intentions of the initiator.
    This is a lesson for every internet jihadi to abstain from blind clicking.

  • Aadil |

    Old story repeated:true follower of Imran Khan; When decisions comes against their wishes the judge or judiciary becomes evil. One should become brave enough to boycott these judges if they are so corrupt and start civil disobedience. That shouldn’t be like as announced in Dharna by great u turn Khan. I know neither you nor your leader can do so as you are most corrupt yourself; you people only know the art how to malign the character of a person who has earned his prestige during years of hard work and honesty. Qazi Jalal and his group is doing so as the Honorable bench refused to accept the bail application of their corrupt minister on merit. Shame on PTI and his followers like Qazi Jalal who are assigned a task of character assassination of honest and reputed people of our society.

  • Waseem Ahmad |

    Factual mistakes in this blog. Ahsan Ali was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau and not by the Ehtesab Commission. On the very first day when the arrests were made and the suspects were produced before the court the NAB officials stated that they did not need their physical custody and they were sent to prison. The bench which granted bail was headed by the Chief Justice and not by Justice Ms Irshad Qaiser. The case of Ahsan Ali was of misuse of authority and not of corruption. While I am fond of safeguarding my freedom of expression at the same time I must follow the responsibilities attached to this freedom. It is interesting that while shall be free to express myself but at the same time I am shy of using the said right with responsibility. Still I believe that he should not have been arrested..

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