FIA is probing all people involved in social media campaign
THE government has decided to arrest all the culprits behind the negative propaganda against Balochistan copter crash on social media.
It’s learned that the people who led the campaign will also be arrested after investigating the individuals involved in the propaganda.
The investigation has indicated that Indian social accounts were also involved in the social media campaign.
It’s circulating that a campaign was launched against the Pakistan Army by the workers of a political party and social media actively participated in it.
The investigations show that at least 17 Indian accounts were linked to the campaign A few weeks ago, Federal Investigation Agency Cyber Crime Wing registered a case and launched an investigation into the malicious social media propaganda following the martyrdom of army officers in the Balochistan helicopter crash.
A joint investigation team including Director Operation, Additional Director and Assistant Director in addition to that high profile officers of ISI and IB were included.
The social media campaign belittling and ridiculing the sacrifices of our martyrs was horrifying.
They poisoned the mind of the youth and weaponised hate speech. Meanwhile, the Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations Major General Babar Iftikhar condemned the negative social media propaganda.
The way this happens on social media, ISPR have to look into this and reject such elements involved in it.
General Babar said we can do this collectively. On the other side, unfortunately the provincial government’s hostility towards its opponents and its use of high handed tactics against them will deepen political polarization.
We may see tension between the two sides intensify beyond the war of words in coming weeks and months.
Rana Sana Ullah has already warned of imposing Governor Rule in Punjab in case he is stopped from entering the province.
This might have been just political rhetoric as under Article 232 of the Constitution, it’s impossible without approval of Joint Session of Parliament.
Still, it does indicate that the country may be headed towards an ugly place if such threats come to pass.
The question is: can people and the country’s fragile economy afford another political crisis due to the Punjab-Centre confrontation?
It is time for all parties to rise above such petty tactics and hostilities for political gains and pull the country back from the brink.
Our neighbouring countries are analysing our alarming situation deeply. It is very serious situation with no political solution in sight.
It seems to the beginning of a new phase of hybrid rule, with a week civilian administration and a worsening political crisis.
The situation has become even more precarious with the ruling combination losing control over Punjab.
The ongoing confrontation between the federal and the Punjab governments has taken a very ugly turn.
That has also limited the role of the central government. Political uncertainty makes it harder to stabilize the economy.
Even earlier elections are not going to resolve the political crisis in this atmosphere of confrontation.
In a curious change of track, Imran Khan now seeks to challenge his opponents in bye elections rather than putting his entire effort into forcing the government to dissolve the National Assembly and hold early elections.
In a clever move, he has decided to contest all nine seats on which polls have become due after the acceptance of the resignations of some PTI MNAs.
Even if he wins all the seats, it is not going to change the power dynamics. It will only mean another round of by-elections with the rest of the resignations of PTI lawmakers being accepted.
In the coming weeks the country would go through another cycle of by-elections, not general elections because elections would be held after finishing fresh digital census which will be notified in the middle of January 2023 and on the basis of this census the Election Commission of Pakistan will start new delimitation as per Article 51 of the Constitution.
So the next general election is expected in November 2023. Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has blamed PTI Chairman Imran Khan for patronizing Shahbaz Gill and others to launch a derogatory social media campaign targeting the Lasbella copter crash martyrs, alleging that it was a joint project of the PTI and India against the Pakistan Army.
The Defence Minister said an investigation into the campaign had found that 529 Pakistani accounts, 18 Indian accounts and 33 accounts from others countries were involved.
The investigation is reaching its conclusion and action would be taken on the results as per the law and the Constitution.
The data is confirmed and verified and more revelations would be coming soon. The Indian channels are praising Imran Khan these days as they believed they would not have achieved even after spending billions of dollars what the PTI chief is doing for them.
Shahbaz Gill used the ARY channel as a medium to promote his secret agenda against the Army and it is learned if action is taken against Shahbaz Gill, the channel would also face repercussions.
—The writer is former Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan and currently Chairman National Democratic Foundation.