Arshad Sharief, a prominent journalist and the host of the late-night talk show Power Play, has been reportedly detained by “men in plain clothes” believed to be from the Federal Investigation Agency. According to reports, the men barged into the house of the senior journalist at around 1:30 am and harassed his family.
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The anchor reportedly had apprehension of his impending illegal arrest and had directed a team of lawyers to lodge a case. Syed Muhammad Ali Bokhari, Mr. Faisal Fared, Advocates for petitioner (Arshad Sharief), lodged a petition in the Islamabad High Court today in a case against the state. The learned counsel has stated in the petition that the petitioner had instructed them last night to “approach the Court because he was being harassed.” The counsel further contended that since last night “he has not been able to establish contact with the petitioner” and has reasons to believe that the Federal Investigation Agency “malafidely and illegally detained the petitioner.” Finally, the petition added that other people engaged in the field of journalism were also being harassed, and their rights were violated.
The arrest enraged his fellow peers and those who stand for free speech in the field of journalism.Senior jounalist Arif Hameed Bhatti took to twitter and said that “Any victimisation against Arshad, Sabir Shakir and Moeed Pirzada or any other journalist will not be tolerated all journalistic unions will launch peaceful protest against any highhandedness”.
Any victimisation against @arsched @ARYSabirShakir @MoeedNj or any other journalist will not be tolerated all journalistic unions will launch peaceful protest against any highhandedness pic.twitter.com/mZ2KhDVgob
— Arif Hameed Bhatti (@arifhameed15) April 28, 2022
Senior journalist and editor Moeed Pirzada also reported about his arrest and termed this to be “Fascism against Media with full might!”.
Plain clothes men – believed to be from FIA – barged into TV Anchor, Arshad Sharif's house & harassed his family, around 1.30am this morning. According to sources close to him, a FIR was already ready to press after his illegal arrest. Fascism against Media with full might! pic.twitter.com/hYWfV3FsHX
— Moeed Pirzada (@MoeedNj) April 28, 2022
Former member of the National Assembly and the ex-minister of Information and Broadcasting, Chaudhary Fawad, added that “within a week in office,” the incumbent government had the houses of Arshad Sharif, Sabir Shakir, and Moeed Pirzada under surveillance.
Earlier, Imran Riaz Khan, a journalist cum Youtuber sidelined a list of seven prominent journalists who the incumbent government wanted to take to task.
Analyst have pointed that the baseless crackdown on journalists would not end well for the government as history of the country bears witness that these “SHO tactics” have never worked in the past either and would only work to mobilize public opinion against the government.