• Says prevailing Afghan situation could have been averted if authorities in Kabul had heeded Imran’s advice about inclusive govt
• Clarifies digital media wing’s analytics report
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday asked the nation to be wary of the “false propaganda” against the country, saying that those running social media trends against Pakistan and the army have turned a blind eye to the unfolding situation in Afghanistan.
“The people who run trends against Pakistan and the army from Pakistan’s soil and defend their actions are today turning a blind eye to the situation in Afghanistan. The people are safe only when institutions are strong,” said the minister through his official Twitter account.
“We should be thankful to Allah that the Pakistan Army and other institutions have made a protective circle around us,” the minister said while quoting the example of Afghanistan where the country’s defence has fallen apart.
The minister alleged that over the decades, the Afghan rulers had looted the country’s resources and filled their own pockets instead of developing institutions. “This is the reason that today their (Afghans’) defence has proved a sand wall,” he said.
“We must be aware of the value of freedom and the importance of the country, and also be wary of false propaganda,” said the minister in his tweet on the occasion of Pakistan’s 75th Independence Day.
The statement came a day after the minister had issued a clarification that nobody from Pakistan had been declared anti-state in the analytics report recently issued by the information ministry’s digital media wing (DMW).
In response to the criticism of the government by the opposition parties for allegedly preparing a list of its opponents and dubbing them ‘anti-state elements’, the minister had clarified that the DMW in its report provided data of 150 trends running on Twitter and that a total of 3.7 million tweets were posted in an attempt to build an anti-Pakistan narrative.
Mr Chaudhry said the report did not comment on the people living in Pakistan, clarifying that “if someone is taking part in #SanctionPakistan trending right now on social media and opposing it, then it does not mean that he is indulging in an anti-state activity”. As he had earlier stated that the media wing of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) had been busy in spreading and posting anti-state trends on social media, the minister explained the data about PTM’s role in supporting the anti-state narrative was part of the DMW report that could be analysed by people themselves.
Also, speaking at a prize distribution ceremony of Independence Day Cup on Saturday, Mr Chaudhry said the nation should not forget the sacrifices of the country’s heroes in safeguarding this motherland as the nation had a long history of struggle for having an independent state.
“On the Independence Day, I assure this valiant nation that the present government is fully alive for preserving prosperity, sovereignty and independence of the motherland under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan,” he said, adding that those busy in sharing negative feelings were actually showing their frustration over their failure to fulfill their nefarious designs.”
Replying to a question, the federal minister said Pakistan was keenly observing the changing regional situation and was desirous of peace and stability in Afghanistan. He said Prime Minister Khan had always stated that the Afghan issue could only be resolved through an inclusive political method.
“The situation prevailing in Afghanistan could have been averted if they [the Afghan authorities] had accepted the suggestion of Prime Minister Imran Khan to delay the Afghan elections for moving towards the inclusive government there,” the minister was quoted by the state-run APP to have stated.
Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2021