Many netizens expressed their outrage after information of the arrest of a younger man named Zulfi unfold on-line. He had earlier had an FIR registered towards him for obscenity for a photoshoot he did in entrance of a portrait of Quaid-e-Azam on the Islamabad Expressway. Nonetheless, he has not truly been arrested.
Together with the portrait, the hillock additionally bears the well-known quotes of the daddy of the nation: “Unity, Faith and Discipline” written in metallic letters each in English and Urdu. After footage of his photoshoot went viral, a case was registered towards Zulfi underneath Part 294 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which pertains to obscenity.
Islamabad Further SP of Operations, Farhat Kazmi, informed Daybreak that Zulfi has not been arrested from Lahore, as is being reported on-line. He stated Zulfi obtained bail from a Lahore courtroom, which informed him to cooperate with the investigation. The younger man arrived at a police station in Islamabad to supply his help within the case and the police took an image with him for his or her information. The image was shared and other people then started claiming that Zulfi had been arrested.
Because the pretend information circulated on-line, issues acquired heated. Celebrities akin to Fatima Bhutto and Meesha Shafi additionally expressed their outrage on the flip of occasions.
“Shame on the police, arresting this young man for what? For a photo where he dressed up? No one was hurt. He harmed no one. On Aug 14, 400 men attacked a woman and filmed themselves terrorising her. They filmed themselves because they knew it’s no crime to attack a girl,” Bhutto wrote on Twitter.
“Do you think the Quaid would have had a problem with these pictures?” Shafi rhetorically questioned her followers.
Different netizens additionally didn’t maintain themselves again in criticising the state. “What exactly guilty is Zulfi guilty of?” a person angrily requested on Twitter. “Freedom of expression? This is so callous and a blatant disregard of due process rights.”
One other person highlighted Zulfi’s devotion and repair to Pakistan on Twitter. “Zulfi always advocated for a more tolerant and free Pakistan,” they wrote. “[Zulfi was] so devoted to Pakistan, [he] literally came back from studying abroad [and] was part of Teach for Pakistan. Even [Zulfi’s song] lyrics were love letters to Pakistan, and this is how Pakistan treats them?”
Some customers identified how a median citizen’s proper to precise themselves freely has been closely curtailed in Pakistan through the years. “Our fundamental right to freedom of expression in getting narrower by the day Pakistan,” a person wrote on twitter. “Progress in our democracy can only be achieved by embracing pluralism even when people may offend our sentiments.”
One other person highlighted how artists are particularly inhibited from expressing themselves freely with out concern. “I as an artist am not free until every artist is free,” they tweeted.
Many customers have been fast to level out how the state apparently prioritises reprimanding younger residents for exercising their freedom of expression over punishing sexual offenders. “You know the state has failed when it starts imprisoning kids who wear different kind of clothes while rapists are gifted bails,” a person wrote on Twitter.
“You know you’re in Pakistan when majority of rapists and oppressors go free but a harmless individual engaging in a photoshoot gets arrested in such a brief time,” learn one other tweet.
“Zulfi’s case actually settles the truth that the one sort of ‘policing’ this state and authorities are concerned with is ethical policing,” a person wrote. “Actual crimes like harassment, rape and murder are subject to whether the story goes viral enough to force action.”
One person identified how most of the 400 males who assaulted a lady at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore are nonetheless at massive whereas the state poured in assets to catch one younger citizen for a mere photoshoot.
One other legitimate level was introduced ahead on Twitter. “Zulfi was not arrested per se but taken in for questioning and has gotten interim bail for now. What does he need to be on bail for? He’s not a criminal! [The #freezulfi hashtag] still makes sense because we all need to fight for own individual and collective freedom, clearly!” they wrote.
Whereas information of Zulfi’s arrest might have been exaggerated, persons are nonetheless discussing and questioning the state and society’s attitudes in the direction of people exercising their proper to precise themselves.