Social media activist placed on terror watch list

Report: Siraj Uddin

PESHAWAR: A social media activist from Lotkoh has been placed on terror watch list.

Sher Jahan Sahil has been placed on Schedule IV of Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997 – terror watch list – for his alleged involvement “in promoting sectarianism and hatred between different religious groups and sects in Chitral.”

Schedule IV of ATA 1997 deals with people who are not directly involved in terrorism activities but whose affiliation with banned outfits or previous criminal record makes them suspicious.

They are kept under surveillance by the police to remove the possibility of their involvement in any terrorism activity in future.

In a memorandum (available with ChitralToday) issued from the office of the district police officer (DPO), Sher Jahan Sahil, a resident of Narkorate Garam Chashma, was informed that: “You have been placed in the list of Schedule IV Under Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 vide notification No (Police-1/HD/11–2/2020) dated April 28, 2020.”

Mr Sahil was accused of propagating and touching upon sectarian issues and targeting the civil administration and law enforcement agencies.

Besides, he was accused of misusing social, electronic and print media in furtherance of sectarian and communal interest.

“Targeting the religious leaders of both the sects and inciting sectarianism in district.”

The memorandum also accused him of “Maligning the security forces and law enforcement agencies on social media.”

He was also accused of uploading “unethical posts which can promote and harm peace of Chitral.” Besides, being social activist, misrepresenting, inculcating/indoctrinating the people with the ideas against religious leaders, state and institutions.

Based on the above, the competent authority under ATA 1997, gives following directions as per section 11-EE of ATA 1997 for strict compliance:

  1. You are required to furnish two surety bounds each amounting to one million rupees, pledging to remain peaceful and not to violate directions of this order.
  2. You will ensure prior intimation to officer incharge (SHO) police station Lotkoh before leaving the territorial limits of the said police, and you shall immediately report to the police station concerned of the visit and purpose of it.
  3. You are directed to visit the police station Lotkoh on a weekly basis to get your presence in the area ascertained.
  4. You will not visit the following areas without taking prior permission from the officer incharge of the police station: Any educational institution of the area, any public meeting promoting sectarian/religious hatred and foreign projects and sensitive installations.
  5. Besides other restrictions, Mr Sahil cannot post, share, or upload any material negatively affecting the image of armed forces and law enforcement agencies, including police and district administration.

in addition, future directions will be issued subject to your conduct and and behaviour.

“In case of violation of these instructions, you will be proceeded against under relevant law and FIR shall be lodged under section 11 EE (4) which has punishment of imprisonment up to three years or fine or both.”

In another order, the fourth scheduler was directed to submit to the area police the following documents:

Details of monthly income and expenses, details of movable and immovable property, details of bank accounts and financial transactions, business activities and sources of income and investments.

When contacted, DPO Lower Chitral Wasim Riaz confirmed to ChitralToday that the social media activist from Lotkoh had been placed in the list of Schedule IV under ATA 1997. He said a leader of the JUI Chitral was also included in the list.

According to a list issued by the National Counterterrorism Authority (NACTA), 22 Chitralis, including Mr Sahil, are in the Schedule IV of ATA 1997.

11 Replies to “Social media activist placed on terror watch list”

  1. چترال انتظامیہ کی طرف سے اظہار راۓ پر پابندی کا یہ واقعہ نہایت ہی بزدلانہ اور شرمناک ہے. ہم اعلی حکومتی عہدداران سے مطالبہ کرتے ہوۓ امید ظاہر کرتے ہیں کہ وہ اپنے اس فیصلے پر نظرثانی کریںگے. چونکہ ساحل صاحب کئی سالوں سے چترال سے لیکر کراچی تک نوجوان چترالیوں کی بلا رنگ و مذہب و مسلک خدمت کرتے رہے ہیں. جن کے تمام چترالی متعرف اور گواہ ہیں. کراچی میں موجود چترال سے تعلق رکھنے والے نوجوانوں کے ساتھ مل کر ساحل نے 14 برس قبل اپنے اس جہدوجہد کا آغاز کیا تھا. بعدازان وہ اپنے قلم اور علمی جہدوجہد سے چترالی نوجوانوں کے مشکلات کو سوشل میڈیا میں اجاگر کرتے رہے ہیں.
    ہالیہ دنوں چترال انتظامیہ اور سیاسی نمائندوں کے درمیاں چپقلش میں ساحل اپنے عوامی ذمہ داری مد نظر رکھتے ہوۓ عوامی نمائیندے کے حق میں کالم لکھتے رہے جو چترال انتظامیہ کو شاق گزرا ہے. انفرادی انتقام کا یہ بد ترین مثال حکومتی انتظام کے نمائندوں کے دامن میں ایک بدنما داغ ہے.

  2. Perhaps it is more than just freedom of speech. Freedom of speech does not mean someone put allegations on people and cannot prove those allegations. Otherwise, how can a person can be placed in schedule VI. I was told that this man was blackmailing individuals, government and private organisation as well as the civil society organisations. On such act he was sued a couple of instances. Someone had beaten him as well last year on such blackmailing.
    In 2018 or 2019, he joined PTI as well. Perhaps to agencies thought he might create problem for the law and order situation.

    1. That’s the question. There might be some ground for authorities to put someone on this list. But remind you putting allegations on people or anyone is not a reason for declaring anyone suspected terrorist. What I want to say is if I say that Mr so and so is a thief, that person will drag me to the court for defamation etc and I have to prove it otherwise I will have to pay the price. But under what law I can be placed on schedule 4 of ATA.
      Then black mailing also not qualify one to be a suspected terrorist.
      You say that in 2018, he joined PTI and perhaps agencies thought he might create problem for the law and order situation. This means you don’t know about the ATA 1997 and are just firing into the air.

      I think he might have done something or propagated something that could have affected the peace of Chitral in terms of harmony between different religious groups. this is good in the sense that anyone playing with the sectarian harmony of Chitral will think a 100 times before trying to hurt the sentiments of any group.
      This law should be applied fully on all those who have been creating hatred in Chitral.

    2. Really???? You need to more study.One cannot placed in schedule IV on blackmailing…نیم حاکم خطرہ جان
      نیم مولا خطرہ ایمان

  3. Freedom of expression is the right of every man. Being a common citizen is not his crime. There are men making fiery speeches against anyone who are never bothered for the support behind them and the regulation of freedom of expression in the country. What clues of terrorism are found about this man should be produced otherwise a proper complaint to higher authority is needed for the blame and defamation of a noble citizen.

  4. By seeing his profile there is NA thing against the state institutions.This seems his name was placed on personal dislike.Laws r different for elites & we Chitral r not peaceloving BUT coward people.

  5. This is misuse of authority by police to suppress freedom of expression. Is the law different for Chitral and other areas of Pakistan. I haven’t heard of this guy’s name in the past so how a person not well known is influencing people or if he was involved in suspected activists you have to prove it in court of law.

    I would also like to know if other people have in the past or present been listed under this law. If yes, then ok go ahead even handed.
    Hear I would like to express my confidence in law enforcers including police and army and Chitral Scouts that they played very active and positive role when there was some trouble in 2017 April in Chitral.
    Based on that I am confident that they will never allow peace of Chitral to get derailed by anyone but please don’t suppress any basic right of citizens provided the citizens use it within their constitutional rights.

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