Lt. Gen. (retd.) Amjad Shoaib was taken into custody by Islamabad Police on Monday on charges of inciting the public against national institutions.
According to a First Information Report (FIR) registered against the former Army officer, he has been charged under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). Local media reported that Shoaib was apprehended from his residence in Islamabad by personnel of the Ramna Police Station, adding the FIR against him had been registered on Feb. 25.
The FIR was registered on the complaint of Islamabad Magistrate Owais Khan, who maintained that Shoaib had sought to incite the public to revolt against institutions and attempted to provoke disharmony and anarchy, and create a law and order situation in the country through controversial statements on a TV show. “Through his remarks and analysis, Lt. Gen. (retd.) Amjad Shoaib has provoked government employees against carrying out their official duties,” it states. “The aim of his controversial advice to the people, government employees and an opposition party is to promote enmity among the people,” it continues, adding that his remarks appeared to be part of a “planned conspiracy” to weaken the country.
The former military officer would be presented in court today, with the police expected to seek his physical remand during proceedings.
Last week, while appearing on a show for Bol TV, Shoaib had claimed that the PTI’s Jail Bharo movement would not be able to pressure the government, because the only ones suffering were common citizens and not “narcissist and shameless rulers sitting atop,” who had no role in it. Advising the PTI to develop a new strategy, the retired officer had suggested measures such as “stopping people from going to government offices in Islamabad.”
This isn’t the first time one of Lt. Gen. (retd.) Shoaib’s remarks have attracted legal notice. He was previously summoned by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in September over claims about a meeting between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and an Israeli delegation. However, he had failed to appear before the FIA’s Cybercrimes Wing at the time.