Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s social media head arrested for campaign against Pak’s COAS

Lahore, Mar 24: After a smear campaign against Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir, authorities on Thursday sprang into action and picked up ousted prime minister Imran Khan’s focal person on social media Azhar Mashwani.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in collaboration with the intelligence agencies and police have launched a countrywide operation against those social media activists, especially of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) following an online campaign against Gen Munir.
More arrests are expected in the coming days.
In the other crackdown on PTI political workers, police have so far arrested 740 mostly from Lahore and Islamabad where the PTI-Police clash took place last week in the authorities’ bid to arrest Imran Khan in the Toshakhana gifts case.
“Enough is enough. Police in Punjab & Islamabad are breaking all laws with impunity as they target PTI. Today Azhar Mashwani was abducted in the afternoon from Lahore & his whereabouts are unknown. On March 18 Senator Shibli Faraz & Omar Sultan were badly beaten by ICT (Islamabad Capital Territory) police,” Khan said in a series of tweets.
He further said: “Over 740 unarmed PTI workers have been arrested from ICT, Lahore & across Punjab. These are poor ppl, many daily wage earners. The Cabal of crooks has no respect for the sanctity of the Holy month of Ramazan when people want to have security to fast & pray. Demand immediate release of our workers.”
PTI leader and former federal minister Moonis Elahi said in a tweet: “Azhar Mashwani abducted today. Absolutely despicable behaviour of this current government. All this just because he stood with PM @ImranKhanPTI.”
In his last tweet before his arrest on Thursday, Mashwani said that those raising their voices against this regime on social media are given threats that they and their families will be eliminated. “This is worse than Gen Musharraf’s martial law,” he said.
It is learnt that Mashwani has been shifted to an undisclosed location for interrogation by the agencies. Mashwani was also the main person looking after the PTI social media in Pakistan.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif recently condemned the “vile campaign” of General Asim Munir especially abroad.
“The campaign against the army chief is intolerable and a continuation of the conspiracy against the institutions. PTI Chairman Imran Khan is dragging state institutions and their heads into his dirty politics, which is against the Constitution,” Sharif said and instructed the interior minister that those behind such anti-institution campaigns within the country should be dealt with “iron hands”.
“Strict legal action should be taken against those who instigate chaos, riots and rebellion in Pakistan,” the premier said.
Social media especially Twitter would see more often trends in Pakistan against the Army and the Army chief for ‘siding’ with the Shehbaz government and its alleged involvement in the oppression of Imran Khan and his party men. (PTI)