Pakistani security agents arrested a senior Islamabad-based television presenter known for his criticism of authorities on charges of spreading false content about state institutions on social media, his news channel and his family said on Friday.
Khalid Jamil was arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency late Thursday, according to his ABN TV on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Jamil’s family confirmed the arrest and said he was detained in a nighttime raid at his home in the capital, Islamabad. A photograph of Jamil circulating on social media shows him holding a sign with his case number, apparently in police custody.
Later on Friday, an Islamabad court gave the agency the green light to hold Jamil for questioning for two days.
The arrest has drawn condemnation from the country’s journalist community. Pakistan has long been an unsafe country for journalists. In 2020, it ranked ninth on the Committee to Protect Journalists’ annual Global Impunity Index, which assesses countries where journalists are regularly harassed and killed and attackers often go free.
In recent years, activists and journalists have been increasingly targeted by the government and security establishment, restricting space for criticism and dissent. Criticism of the military can result in threats, intimidation, sedition charges and, in some cases, arrests without warning.