ISLAMABAD: The Violent Extremism Prevention Unit (VEPU) of Islamabad Police has identified more than 700 accounts on X, Facebook and other social media platforms spreading religious, terrorism-related material in the last six months.

The unit has written to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to take steps for closure of the accounts among which more than 200 have been blocked.

VEPU was established this year to take action against hate propagation on social media.

On the directions of Islamabad Capital City Police Officer (ICCPO) Dr Akbar Nasir Khan, the unit has intensified its crackdown on social media platforms to combat the spread of religious, sectarian, linguistic hatred and propaganda against institutions, a police spokesperson said. He said the unit monitored social media and traced the over 700 accounts on X, Facebook and other platforms.

The spokesperson said with an unwavering commitment to curbing extremism without discrimination, the unit has taken swift action against individuals promoting hateful ideologies on various social media platforms.

The establishment of the pioneering anti-extremism unit within the Islamabad capital police underscored the city’s firm resolve to address the menace of extremism comprehensively.

“In addition to proactively engaging with educational institutions, seminaries and mosques to counter extremist narratives, the unit diligently monitors social media and websites for political, linguistic, sectarian and religious extremist content,” he said.

“This unit is first of its type in Pakistan which was established by the Islamabad Capital City Police Officer (ICCPO) Dr Akbar Nasir Khan and was inaugurated by the National Coordinator Nacta.”

He said Nasir Khan urged citizens to refrain from engaging in activities that propagated hatred or spread misinformation about institutions on social media.

“The capital police encourage individuals to report any such activities promptly, facilitating the ongoing efforts to maintain peace,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Shahzad Town police arrested two wanted members of a gang involved in numerous criminal activities and recovered snatched Rs1.4 million and weapon with ammunition from their possession,” a police public relations officer said.

Published in Dawn, August 21st, 2023

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