pakistan
Monday Aug 08 2022
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FIA tasked with probing malicious social media campaign following Balochistan copter crash

An exterior shot of the FIA headquarters. — Facebook/File
An exterior shot of the FIA headquarters. — Facebook/File
  • Inquiry registered at FIA Cyber Crime Wing.
  • Four-member probe team to be headed by ADG Cybercrimes Muhammad Jafar.
  • Other members include Director Operations Waqar Chauhan, Additional Director Ayaz, and Assistant Director Imran Haider


An investigation of the malicious social media propaganda following the martyrdom of army officers in the Balochistan helicopter crash has been entrusted to the Federal Investigation Agency.

An inquiry was registered at the FIA Cyber Crime Wing, it emerged on Sunday.

A joint investigation team headed by Additional Director General Cybercrimes Muhammad Jafar has been formed.

The investigation team includes Director Operations Waqar Chauhan, Additional Director Ayaz, and Assistant Director Imran Haider, sources told Geo News.

The development follows Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif characterising the campaign as "horrifying".

"The social media campaign belittling and ridiculing the sacrifices of our martyrs was horrifying," he wrote in a message on Twitter.

The prime minister attributed such vitriol to "self-righteous political narratives".

"They poison the minds of the youth and weaponise hate speech. Which way are we headed?" he asked.

He stressed on the need for "deep reflection" in the midst of such an unfortunate atmosphere.

On Friday, in a conversation on Geo News programme "Naya Pakistan", the Director-General of Inter-Services Public Relations Major General Babar Iftikhar condemned the negative social media propaganda.

"The way this happens on social media, we have to look into this and reject such elements involved in it," he said.

"We can do this collectively. That's why we issued a press release as it was important to highlight this matter. This has to be condemned at every level."

The press release issued by the ISPR stated: "We have been distressed since the accident on August 1. The propaganda has caused immense pain, particularly to the families of the martyrs," he said.

Emphasising that this should not happen, Maj Gen Iftikhar said that elements spreading negative propaganda and rumours should be rejected.

“Insensitive behaviour is unacceptable and should be condemned on every platform,” he asserted, adding that the Pakistan Army is grateful to the nation which continues to stand by them and the martyrs.

The helicopter crash

A Pakistan Army helicopter had gone missing on August 1 in Balochistan during flood relief efforts and was reported crashed by the ISPR the following day. It was found near Musa Goth in the Lasbela district. Six military personnel were martyred.

The military chopper had gone missing as it was en route from Quetta to Karachi at around 5:30pm.

The personnel in the chopper were overseeing flood relief efforts in the southwest of the country.