ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has identified 27 people involved in anti-army propaganda and would also submit its report on the misuse of social media to malign the country’s armed forces in the next two weeks to the interior ministry.
Sources in the FIA told The Express Tribune that the agency has identified 27 people involved in anti-army propaganda and added that seven of them were called for interview/questioning after which their electronic equipment was seized and sent for a forensic analysis.
On May 21, the FIA had arrested and later released six suspects for allegedly defaming the armed forces and state institutions. However, the agency has not formally charged them or made any arrests of anyone under the charges of maligning the armed forces.
The sources also said the all those identified have a political affiliation and belong to different parts of the country.
According to details, the agency’s cyber-crime wing helped in identifying the accused and the counter terrorism wing was used to apprehend the suspects.
Security officials believe that certain pages on social media, operating outside Pakistan, are promoting anti-state propaganda.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had also ordered authorities to tighten the noose around those elements that were using social media to spread hate-speech and blasphemy. He had termed blasphemy an unpardonable offence, while directing the interior and telecom ministries to nab the culprits. However, due to complexities some controversial pages are still operational.
On May 14 the Interior Minister had ordered the Cyber Crime Wing of FIA to take immediate action against all those dishonouring the army.
While issuing directives Nisar had stated that the Constitution, while providing guarantee of freedom of expression, makes it clear that security and defence matters cannot be subjected to criticism and no citizen should indulge in any such activity that negatively impacts the prestige, repute and respect of the armed forces.
Nisar had issued his directives when the Dawn Leaks controversy was settled between the government and the army. Some people had turned to social media to criticise the army and General Qamar over settling the issue with the government.
Sources also said that the FIA has accelerated its efforts against those running such campaigns on social media.