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 in opposition to 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, Religion and Self-discipline” written in metallic letters each in English and Urdu. After footage of his photoshoot went viral, a case was registered in opposition to Zulfi below Part 294 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which pertains to obscenity.
Islamabad Further SP of Operations, Farhat Kazmi, instructed Daybreak that Zulfi has not been arrested from Lahore, as is being reported on-line. He stated Zulfi obtained bail from a Lahore court docket, which instructed 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 data. The image was shared and other people then started claiming that Zulfi had been arrested.
Because the faux information circulated on-line, issues bought heated. Celebrities corresponding to Fatima Bhutto and Meesha Shafi additionally expressed their outrage on the flip of occasions.
“Disgrace on the police, arresting this younger man for what? For a photograph the place he dressed up? Nobody was damage. He harmed nobody. On Aug 14, 400 males attacked a girl and filmed themselves terrorising her. They filmed themselves as a result of they knew it’s no crime to assault a lady,” Bhutto wrote on Twitter.
“Do you suppose the Quaid would have had an issue with these footage?” Shafi rhetorically questioned her followers.
Different netizens additionally didn’t maintain themselves again in criticising the state. “What precisely responsible is Zulfi responsible of?” a consumer angrily requested on Twitter. “Freedom of expression? That is so callous and a blatant disregard of due course of rights.”
One other consumer highlighted Zulfi’s devotion and repair to Pakistan on Twitter. “Zulfi at all times advocated for a extra tolerant and free Pakistan,” they wrote. “[Zulfi was] so dedicated to Pakistan, [he] actually got here again from finding out overseas [and] was a part of Train for Pakistan. Even [Zulfi’s song] lyrics had been love letters to Pakistan, and that is how Pakistan treats them?”
Some customers identified how a mean citizen’s proper to specific themselves freely has been closely curtailed in Pakistan over time. “Our basic proper to freedom of expression in getting narrower by the day Pakistan,” a consumer wrote on twitter. “Progress in our democracy can solely be achieved by embracing pluralism even when folks could offend our sentiments.”
One other consumer highlighted how artists are particularly inhibited from expressing themselves freely with out concern. “I as an artist am not free till each artist is free,” they tweeted.
Many customers had been fast to level out how the state apparently prioritises reprimanding younger residents for exercising their freedom of expression over punishing sexual offenders. “You understand the state has failed when it begins imprisoning children who put on completely different form of garments whereas rapists are gifted bails,” a consumer wrote on Twitter.
“You understand you are in Pakistan when majority of rapists and oppressors go free however a innocent particular person partaking in a photoshoot will get arrested in such a short time,” learn one other tweet.
“Zulfi’s case actually settles the truth that the one form of ‘policing’ this state and authorities are occupied with is ethical policing,” a consumer wrote. “Precise crimes like harassment, rape and homicide are topic as to if the story goes viral sufficient to pressure motion.”
One consumer identified how most of the 400 males who assaulted a woman at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore are nonetheless at massive whereas the state poured in sources to catch one younger citizen for a mere photoshoot.
One other legitimate level was introduced ahead on Twitter. “Zulfi was not arrested per se however taken in for questioning and has gotten interim bail for now. What does he must be on bail for? He isn’t a felony! [The #freezulfi hashtag] nonetheless is smart as a result of all of us must battle for personal particular person and collective freedom, clearly!” they wrote.
Whereas information of Zulfi’s arrest could have been exaggerated, individuals are nonetheless discussing and questioning the state and society’s attitudes in direction of people exercising their proper to specific themselves.