ISLAMABAD: statistics Minis­ter Fawad Chaudhry on Wednesday stirred a hurricane with the aid of pronouncing that a crackdown was predicted quickly against extremism on social media as rights activists expressed scepticism about the move.

Addressing an event against spiritual extremism and counter-narrative organised by means of the Pakistan Institute of Parlia­mentary research, the minister said that preparations have been made and the operation could be released in a few weeks.

He stated that a operating organization, led with the aid of the Federal investigation agency and including other groups, have been shaped and a mechanism devised to diminish hate speech on social media.

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The minister stated that the casual media became a extra trouble than the formal media and the previous turned into set to end up more vital than the latter soon. Consequently, there has been a need for ability-constructing of relevant departments that would reveal social media and trace faux bills so that people who broke the law will be prosecuted.

move units alarm bells ringing for rights activists

“The trouble is that the digital media is leaving formal media behind, so it is critical for us to alter this,” he said. “we are introducing a new authority referred to as the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority so as to serve as a one-window operation for digital, print and digital media.”

He also spoke approximately some arrests revamped issuance of decrees (fatwa), propagating extremist narratives and hurling threats on social media.

“in the following couple of weeks we are able to launch a crackdown,” Mr Chaudhry said. “i am making it clear that the state will not allow extremists to dictate their narrative by means of use of force.”

He said that the kingdom desired a dialogue, “however that can't take place if the other aspect does not assist you to try this and if you are instructed that ‘my opinion is very last and in case you disagree i'm able to shoot you or you should be hanged for announcing this’. Then you definitely are the usage of the nation’s powers. Handiest the country has the electricity to apply pressure or violence. Any character can't be allowed to do the equal”.

The minister said that the difficulty had to be debated at the worldwide stage and many countries have been already doing that. He noted Saudi Arabia’s vision 2030, pronouncing that it additionally furnished a mechanism towards extremism.

“We need to build a country wide and international narrative against extremism and we believe in making the laws reign ideally suited in Pakistan,” he stated.

Mr Chaudhry stated that extremist Islam was a current phenomenon due to the fact Islam turned into spread inside the subcontinent through the teachings of Sufism, which became based totally on tolerance.

“it all occurred while we have become stuck inside the abnormal battle in Afghanistan,” he said. “An iIrregular conflict creates doubts in minds as to who is the enemy. Then again, a normal battle just like the 1965 struggle is clear and it honestly creates team spirit a few of the residents,” he said.

He stated that it turned into the resilience of the Pakistani kingdom that made them live on after being dragged into the abnormal war, “If it had been another society or united states like the ones inside the middle East, it'd were shattered on sectarian or tribal basis.”

“We escaped this fragmentation of society as we have a long records of tolerance and coherence,” the minister introduced.

He stated that more than 70,000 lives were misplaced (inside the fight in opposition to terrorism) and the subsequent degree become to eliminate terrorism.

“the first level is extremism that leads to terrorism and talk is the fundamental principle of society, however extremists do no longer take part in debates,” he said. “this is in which the role of the kingdom is available in to make sure freedom of expression for all.”

In an allusion to the media, the minister said that a few quarters concept that freedom of expression became limitless.

“No sir, there is no liberty within the international this is without a restrict. Your restrict ends wherein my restriction begins, and you cannot infringe on my freedom,” he stated, “we have legal guidelines for this however they could not be enforced in advance due to political and safety problems, however now that we've made it out of the abnormal conflict, it's far the duty of the country to include hate speech.”

He praised the formal media for assisting the government minimize hate speech. “we can control hate speech on social and virtual media, even though faux debts,” he introduced.

Fawad Chaudhry’s remarks have sounded alarms bells amongst rights activists who stated that the authorities may include rights of residents on the pretext of crackdown towards extremism.

Nighat Dad of the virtual Rights foundation stated that the government circulate should no longer be a smokescreen for tightening of the noose round freedom of speech or implementing strict censorship of social media.

“there may be a law — the Prevention of electronic Crimes Act — enacted during the time period of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government and endorsed by means of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf. The government need to cope with all cybercrimes below the regulation,” she stated. “actions need to be taken in opposition to those harassing or blackmailing human beings thru social media or even people who hack social media accounts.”

Ms Dad stated that if there were shortcomings inside the regulation, it should be progressed in preference to forming a new authority on this regard.

Civil rights activist Tahira Abdullah slammed the inspiration given with the aid of the data minister. She stated they would as a substitute discuss the matter with Dr Arif Alivi, president of the usa.

“Dr Alvi become with us as a part of crew towards stringent clauses of crime law when he become in opposition, but now this PTI authorities is doing what PML-N had commenced.”

regarding the Pakistan Media Regulatory Aut­hority, she stated creating new departments simplest strengthened bureaucracy but did no longer correct the wrong.

posted in sunrise, February 14th, 2019