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Interior minister orders action against those maligning Pakistan Army on social media

Updated May 15, 2017 06:33pm

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Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar on Sunday directed the Federal Investigation Agency's (FIA) Cyber Crime Wing to take action against "those ridiculing Pakistan Army on social media" in order to protect "the prestige, reputation and goodwill" of the armed forces.

"As far as the freedom of speech is concerned, the Constitution makes it clear that national security and defence institutions would not be criticised and that citizens would not engage themselves in any activity that causes damage to the prestige, reputation and goodwill of Pak Army," Nisar was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the ministry.

"Ridiculing Pakistan Army or its officers in the name of freedom of speech is unacceptable," he added.

The statement further said that targeting such a prestigious and disciplined institution of the country for the sake of particular interests was not only a matter of concern but a severe offence.

The minister directed the FIA Cyber Crime Wing to take strict action against all those involved in the practice "intentionally or unintentionally".

The minister directed the authority to take action without any discrimination regardless of the political affiliation and profession of those involved.

The statement comes two days after Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) warned TV channels not to air content jeopardising the military's image.

The regulator warned all TV channels against airing unverified news or analysis themed around the Pakistan Army or its relationship with the civilian government.

Pemra made it clear that all news and current affairs TV channels, including its employees, panellists and anchorpersons, shall not divulge in discussing unverified news or analysis pertaining to the country's civil-military relations without confirmation from the concerned institution.

"Those found in violation of the new Pemra guideline would be charged under Section 27 of the Pemra Ordinance 2002," the press release stated.

The measures were taken in the wake of criticism against the Army on social media after the later withdrew a tweet in connection with a notification issued by the office of the prime minister.

Note: The headline of this article was changed for the purposes of clarity.

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Comments (30) Closed



Yawar May 14, 2017 09:58pm

Thank God, some sensible decision by Govt.

Kr May 14, 2017 10:53pm

I feel that ,some children are governing our country. Be mature, do not take social media so serious.

Let the nation speak.

Use the feedback of nation in positive way...

Tahirul PAdri May 14, 2017 11:19pm

I agree with him...

Saif Zulfiqar May 15, 2017 12:12am

Anyone talking against Defence Forces should be severely punished.

Afghan-Pashtun May 15, 2017 12:13am

So no freedom of speech.

Khanm May 15, 2017 12:20am

It seems whenever the government doesn’t want anyone to know something, it is all of a sudden critical to national security.folks..When national ideals are confined to insignificant issues reflective primarily of a personal choice, there lies a problem of distorted priorities. So be it ...in the name of national security...

Sameer May 15, 2017 12:36am

This is an excellent maneuver. Nisar's statement will only add fuel to the fire. FIAs image isnt any better too. Which reminds me... for example there is some pretty reasonable stance in Irfan Hussain's writing today..would Nisar try to bar him too for being a little to honest?

Muhammad zahid May 15, 2017 01:26am

Constitution is also applied on the incumbent federal government also. No one is exempted and above the law.

Taqeeya May 15, 2017 01:31am

Well done. After all it is ever so important to safeguard an institution which in no uncertain terms challenges "rule of law". After all, isn't that what our forefathers died for, trade in one privileged group for another - just that the second uses a false pretence to be relevant.

Princess_of_DHUMP May 15, 2017 01:45am

Please define ridiculing? If one thinks that some policy is not in-line with country's long term interest then one has the right to criticise. You represent an elected civilian government and curbing free speech is no 'civil' behavior. Whenever I start appreciating some of the government's progressive moves - people like you remind who first brought him and the leadership of PML-N into politics. The "Mard-e-Momin" himself!

Babakhan May 15, 2017 01:49am

Yes what more you can expect from both parties

AB May 15, 2017 02:08am

Yes Mr. Nisar. Ridiculing is the right given only to Indians

Alam May 15, 2017 02:29am

Soon media will repeat the clips of Ministers of present Govt using harsh language against the armed forces. People still respect Armed forces and dont need any help of the Govt. Actually this statement of Ch. Nisar tatamount to degrading the Armed forces.

UFO May 15, 2017 03:08am

If military does not want to tarnish its image, it should refrain from taking the side of corrupt politicians. By the way, does this plea also involve musharraf?

Samad Chaudhry London May 15, 2017 03:10am

Well Done Those talking nonsense against Military must stop Media has a duty to be careful in giving any air to such ugly news items

Asfhaq May 15, 2017 03:39am

In democracy all institutions can be criticised. As long as it's constructive criticism it should be useful. How else would these institutions strive to improve their role in our society?

Proud pakistani May 15, 2017 04:11am

Without the army we would be no better than Palestine or Burma. Thank you Pakistan Army for all you have done and continue to do.

We can sleep in comfy beds because men and women in uniform are awake ready to do battle.

Humor heart humanity(3H) May 15, 2017 05:24am

"FIA comes to military rescue" is not an appropriate line. I do not agree to this narrative .Alhamdolillah our military is strong enough to safeguard itself .

Ace May 15, 2017 06:30am

Nisar, a good joke.

In order to be in the news, throw another one.

Javed Arshad May 15, 2017 06:43am

The civilian govt needs to mends its governance - the root cause of all the issues facing our nation. Address the corruption nepotism beating around the bush hiding the facts finding escape goats ......

tomUHTO TAWMAYTO May 15, 2017 06:43am

@Kr

Sensible observation from you KR; this kind of stricture reminds me of the school principal

M. Emad May 15, 2017 06:46am

Self-ridiculing in the mirror.

M. Emad May 15, 2017 06:48am

No ridiculing but constructive criticism.

Seedoo May 15, 2017 07:19am

Only people who know that they are wrong are sensitive and cannot take criticism. Grow up and learn to take jokes and criticism. What's the big deal? We are too damn sensitive as a society.

Joe batter May 15, 2017 07:48am

Why would patriotic citizens ever disparage the armed forces in any nation?

Manu May 15, 2017 08:32am

Haha they are saving themselves from upcoming coup .

Sandhya May 15, 2017 08:36am

@Yawar need protection?

Leena May 15, 2017 08:57am

But inside PMLN is happy.

Asif May 15, 2017 09:10am

He was the first who ridiculed the TWEET. And isn't this a policy of forced respect to be gained forcefully?

kamran Waheed May 15, 2017 10:37am

Mr.Minister is clear and we should appreciate his concern about the image of defense forces. Comments can always be given but with very practical mindset as Pakistan is very dear to all of us.