ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Asif Saeed Khosa on Saturday disowned all social media accounts operating in his name.

The chief justice issued a statement referring to certain twitter accounts in the name of ‘Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa’ and clarified that he was neither using any Twitter nor Facebook account or page nor any other ID on any other social networking website.

There are several twitter accounts in the name of the chief justice and one of them posted a picture at around 6pm on Friday showing women officers and soldiers of the armed forces marching. The title of the picture read: “Brave PAKISTANI women soldiers are also fighting against Terrorist Salute to these brave Daughters.”

Another account, Asif Saeed Khosa@CJPAsifSKhosa, showed a clip of his own oath taking. In a post at 8pm on Jan 4, its handler wrote: “Allah like those who do justice. Therefore, judge each other. Salam & gd mrng.”

The chief justice has lodged a complaint with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Pakistan Telecommunication authority (PTA) to block such accounts ‘and take legal action against the delinquents in accordance with law’.

Besides the CJP, the Islamabad High Court chief justice, the president, several parliamentarians and cabinet members and even the state minister for interior have lodged complaints with the FIA over fake accounts operating in their names.

There are also several accounts in the name of the army chief.

One key reason for the failure to block these accounts is that social media companies, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, are based in the West mainly the US, and do not always acknowledge complaints from FIA or PTA.

Under the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act 2016, such complaints are dealt with FIA and PTA.

A senior FIA official acknowledged that controlling fake accounts was difficult.

“Usually, the social media companies respond to our requests that having fake account is not a crime and they ask us if anything criminal has been committed from that (fake) account,” the official said.

Under the Pakistani legal system, investigations are carried by the FIA and a summary is forwarded to the PTA which deals with the social media companies. But most of the complaints forwarded by PTA to these companies have been turned down.

But complaints related to blasphemy, hate speech, violence and extremism are taken seriously by the social media companies and such accounts are blocked.

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2019