FIA traces Twitter accounts involved in ‘anti-army campaign’

‘PTI supporter’ spread fake news by tweeting video claiming army chief attended ceremony in London, says agency


Khalid Mehmood August 20, 2022
FIA has received 178,513 complaints and 1,831 people have been arrested since 2019. REPRESENTATIONAL IMAGE

ISLAMABAD:

Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) cybercrime wing in a major operation has identified Twitter accounts involved in spreading fake news about the military and the army chief.

A person named Engineer Naveed whose Twitter account (Engr_Naveed111) tweeted a video on his handle claiming that Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa attended the Independence Day ceremony at the Pakistan High Commission in London held on August 14, 2022.

However, the video turned out to be a year old when the army chief visited Ukraine in May, 2021.

Ukrainian singer, Nataliya Shmarenkova had performed Junaid Jamshed’s iconic patriotic song “Dil Dil Pakistan” in a special function honouring Pakistan’s Independence during army chief’s visit to the country last year.

According to sources, Naveed’s Twitter account belongs to an overseas Pakistani whose real name is Muhammad Naveed Afzal and a resident of Punjab’s Jhang district as per official record.

Afzal is a PTI supporter and followed by party’s Twitter handles, they added.

Read more: Fact Check: Did Army Chief Bajwa enjoy Ukrainian singer's cover of 'Dil Dil Pakistan'?

The fake news spread about the army chief was liked by 64,000 people and retweeted by 9,000 people including some prominent personalities, majority of them belongs to PTI, the insiders said.

Fake and hateful content is being spread on social media under a well-planned conspiracy in an attempt to create hatred between military and the people, the added.

Earlier this month, sources had said the authorities were preparing to make arrests of the characters involved in the malicious campaign against the martyrs of Lasbela helicopter crash, and their instigators, as the investigation by a six-member team continued.

According to the sources, the investigation agencies were conducting round-the-clock probe to bring the characters of this hate-campaign to its logical conclusion. They added that startling disclosures had been made in the ongoing investigation.

The government ordered an investigation after certain political zealots and a section of social media activists launched an abhorring campaign on popular social media platforms to advance their personal and political malice, following the army helicopter crash on August 1.

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