Senior journalist and anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan was reportedly taken into custody by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Thursday. According to lawyer Mian Ali Ashfaq, the anchorperson was taken into custody by the agency’s Lahore office. The anchorperson’s official Twitter account also confirmed the development. “Imran Riaz Khan was arrested by FIA and taken into custody at an unknown place, the airport staff misinformed the public at the scene and escorted him via backdoor entrances,” read a tweet posted by the Riaz’s social media team. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) official Twitter account also shared a video that reportedly showed the journalist at the FIA’s office. Imran Riaz was arrested on charges of “hate speech” and making a “violence-inducing statement” aimed at creating “a rift between the general public and the state institutions”, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) said. The FIA registered the first information report under sections 11 (electronic forgery), 20 (malicious code) and 24 (legal recognition of offences committed in relation to information system) of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes (Peca) 2016. Likewise, sections 131/109 (incitement to mutiny), 500 (punishment for defamation) and 505 (public mischief) of the Pakistan Penal Code have also been added to the FIR. According to the FIR, Khan was “found involved in publicly making a hate speech at a conference which falls under the territorial jurisdiction of FIA cyber crime cell”. The complaint went on to say that the speech was further publicly shared on social media platforms nationally and internationally. The contents of Khan’s video, as mentioned in the FIR, questioned former army chief Gen Bajwa’s pledge for the military to remain apolitical in his final speech as army chief. The agency pointed out that it had been found “that the same mischievous video of the alleged person was publicly shared and a part of that video was posted by a Twitter user, which was retweeted by Imran Riaz Khan”. The FIR said the nexus of “retweeting the mischievous video by the alleged person from the Twitter handlers is technically verified [by the agency].” The FIA report said such a “violence-inducing statement made intentionally and made public by Imran Riaz Khan may cause, or is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public or to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the state or against the public tranquillity or incite or likely to incite any class or community or person to commit any offence against any other class or community on the grounds of spreading anarchy, division in the social fabric against the state and the state institutions, bloodshed, extremism, terrorism, feelings of enmity, hatred between the people of Pakistan:It said the consequences of such mischievous statements rendered “dire consequences both nationally and internationally for the state of Pakistan”. The FIA said such intimidating/threatening statements were a mischievous act of subversion to create a rift between the general public and the state institutions. “Prima facie, the alleged person namely Imran Riaz has committed offences u/s 11, 20, 24 of PECA 2016 R/w 131, 500, 505, 109 – PPC. Hence, a case may be registered against the accused while the role of other accomplices (if any) will be determined during the course of the investigation,” it added. A video shared by PTI’s official Twitter account shows the journalist at FIA’s cybercrime office. Condemning the journalist’s arrest, PTI general secretary Asad Umar said that while journalists and politicians were in jail, “terrorists are walking free in the country”.