Govt identifies over ‘500 social media accounts’ involved in anti-judiciary campaign

ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi on Monday said the government has identified more than 500 social media accounts embroiled in anti-judiciary campaign.

“Action will be taken against those involved in the recent malicious campaign against Supreme Court judges, in accordance with the law and constitution,” he said talking to media in Islamabad while he was flanked by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials.

Referring to the Supreme Court verdict which stripped the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) of its cricket bat electoral symbol on January 13, the information minister said after the apex court ruling, a vile campaign was launched against the judiciary and judges.

He said following that a joint investigation team was formed against the unabated social media campaign and the JIT was doing its work. The interior ministry notified the JIT on January 16 to investigate into the matter, he added.

Solangi said, “Article 19 of the Constitution marks a boundary for freedom of speech. Some people have business of spreading lies as they sit with “two and a half people” in their vlogs.”

The PTA official said the PTA had the authority to remove content from social media. Hence, their fundamental job in such a situation was to block the internet and delete the objectionable content, he said.

“Social media’s outreach is enormous and easy but people are not aware of its utility,” he said.

FIA Cybercrime Director Operations Waqaruddin Syed warned those spreading anarchy through social media saying that they would resort to action against those spreading anarchy against the state or its institutions.

The FIA director said they would take action against the social media accounts involved in the said smear campaign whether being operated from within the country or outside it. “We will fully utilise the authority assigned to us,” he maintained.

Waqaruddin said those living abroad had association with various political parties. He said verification of fake news was mandatory before forwarding it. He said hundreds of social media accounts had been identified and the FIA would present its report to the JIT within the mandated time of fortnight, the FIA director operations said.

To a query about how action would be taken against the overseas Pakistanis, he said they had relations with the country and they must be travelling here.