Tuesday Aug 16, 2022
The government has decided to arrest all the people behind the negative propaganda against Lasbela helicopter crash on social media, sources privy to the investigation told Geo News on the condition of anonymity.
Sources said that the people who led the campaign will also be arrested after investigating the individuals involved in the propaganda. They added that the investigations have shown that Indian accounts were also involved in the social media campaign.
They added that a campaign was launched against the Pakistan Army by the workers of a political party and Indian social media accounts actively participated in it. The investigations show that at least 17 Indian accounts were linked to the campaign.
Last week, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Cyber Crime Wing registered a case and launched an investigation into the malicious social media propaganda following the martyrdom of army officers in the Balochistan helicopter crash.
A joint investigation team headed by Additional Director General Cybercrimes Muhammad Jafar is carrying out the probe.
The investigation team includes Director Operations Waqar Chauhan, Additional Director Ayaz, and Assistant Director Imran Haider, sources told Geo News.
The development follows after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif characterised 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.
Meanwhile, 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.
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.