May 27, 2018

Framework required to counter campaigns against national institutions: Ahsan Iqbal

ISLAMABAD: Interior ministry is preparing a comprehensive framework to counter social media led campaigns against Pakistan’s national institutions, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal stated during a press conference today.

As per detail, Mr. Iqbal stressed upon the need to counter fake news.

“In this fifth generation era, fake news being spread on social media can cause misunderstanding. We need a framework to make sure social media isn’t being used against national institutions”, said Ahsan Iqbal giving the example of Qatar and Saudia Arabia.

The interior minister also emphasized that national institutions should not only be seen as armed forces and judiciary. Rather  the parliament is also a “sacred national institution.” He added that “there are many fake news being spread against parliamentarians on social media that warrants action too.”

The minister said that the interior ministry had directed the FIA to prepare a clear policy for conducting any raids. However, he did not give any response to a question about the number of people under custody for engaging in advocacy over social media.

“We should not curtail freedom of expression online.   As we are going into the next elections, in a democratic society, freedom of expression cannot be denied, said Ahsan Iqbal. However he also added “We cannot give more unchecked freedom over social media.”

The minister’s comments comes days after PML-N party president Mian Nawaz Sharif issued a statement condemning the crackdown against ‘social media activists’ in which he had asked the interior ministry to conduct an investigation into the matter.

 

Written by

A. Khan is a senior journalist with more than 8 years of experience covering important issues within Political and IT beat. In the past, he had also worked with renowned English Newspapers including Express Tribune.

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