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Social media to be regulated, says Fawad

Fawad Chaudhry said that the state will not ignore the “rebellion, which took place recently and caused damage to public property.”

By Agencies & Azeem Samar
November 05, 2018

KARACHI: Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday said the government has decided to regulate the social media as it is going on unchecked and bringing it within the ambit of law is a challenge. He said that fake news and fake notifications come up from fake accounts. He said that the people who staged the dharna insulted the judges, army and the government.

Fawad Chaudhry said that the state will not ignore the “rebellion, which took place recently and caused damage to public property.” The federal minister said that those involved in the “rebellion” will be taken to task and earlier the government only sought to resolve the issue under a strategy. “The Constitution and law of the state were insulted. This act is hard to forgive,” said the federal minister. He said fake news and fake narratives were a challenge, particularly in the presence of vibrant social media with large number of users.

The proposed Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority would also regulate the social media, he said while speaking here at a panel discussion on "There is no Truth: Only Narrative".

The minister told a questioner that private television channels daily broadcast a number of news as breaking ones, which later proved as fake. He said Pakistan was an open country with regard to expression of information.

"We have a very powerful media and independent judiciary. No one has the licence to incite others to violence. Pakistanis are a self-critic nation,” he said. "We ask so many questions and also criticise ourselves,” he added.

The minister said the social media was mostly controlled by the developed countries, which would have to realise its impact on the Third World countries.

Sindh is having lawlessness, which needs to be eliminated. He said it seems that the days of the government of Pakistan People's Party in Sindh are numbered as billions of rupees were found stashed there in the accounts of poor Falooda seller and rickshaw driver.

"It is the government of Pakistan People's Party in Sindh. Let us see for how many more days it lasts. Billions of rupees are found stashed in the accounts of Falooda seller and rickshaw driver here," said the federal information minister.

He stated this while talking to newsmen on Sunday after he met the members of National and Sindh Assemblies of Karachi belonging to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf at the Sindh Governor House.

Later, speaking at a press conference at the Insaf House, the federal information minister clarified that he had never given any statement regarding the likely abolition of PPP’s Sindh government and spokespersons of the provincial government should not become panicky over such an imaginative issue.

The federal minister said at the press conference that parliamentarians of PTI belonging to the province, whom he met earlier, had complained that they were being victimised by the PPP’s Sindh government on the basis of political differences.

He said that such political victimisation had been the tradition of PPP’s rule in the province as in fact there was hooliganism in Sindh.

He said that PPP’s Sindh government should first become answerable for the Rs7,500,00 million that had been transferred from the Federation to the province during the last 10 years and as to where this massive amount had been spent during the People's Party’s rule in the province. He said if the centre lessened its cooperation a little, Sindh government will be in trouble.

He said the PPP government in the province often complained about interference in the domain of provincial autonomy whenever the Centre takes any step to help the province. But in fact it is the case that neither the Sindh government takes any step to dodevelopment nor it allowed anyone else to do development here.

The federal information minister ruled out the possibility of imposition of Governor’s Rule in the province saying that change of government in the province would take place through democratic means.

He said that the people of Sindh in the last general elections, for the first time since the presidential election of 1960s in which Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah was a candidate, had voted for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in defiance of the politics that had always been practised in the province.

He said that the people in Karachi had voted for the PTI to become once again part of the politics of national mainstream after abandoning the politics of language that had been practised in the province since the decade of 60s.

Fawad Chaudhry claimed that the PTI in the next general elections would come to power in Sindh as well after securing two-thirds majority in the province. He said that in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also, the PTI had given the option to the people to reject the obsolete politics being done on the basis of religion, language or nationalism. He said that the PPP was still doing the same obsolete politics in the province.

He said that talks were under way with the United Arab Emirates to install a new plant in Karachi to overcome the issue of clean potable water for residents of the city. He said the federal government of PTI would also take steps to fulfill the needs of new civic infrastructure in Karachi.

The minister said that PTI’s government would come up to the expectations and trust of the people of Karachi, which they had reposed in the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in the last elections. He said the federal government would try its best to take steps to provide facilities to the people of Karachi and the rest of Sindh on an equal basis.

While reacting to the press conference of federal information minister, Sindh Information Adviser Barrister Murtaza Wahab said that the minister had alluded towards the abolition of Sindh government in near future and the statement was highly lamentable.

The provincial information adviser said that Prime Minister Imran Khan should clarify the statement of Fawad Chauhdry in this regard. "Fawad Chaudhry instead of counting the days of Sindh government should become concerned about the performance of his own government in the Centre," he said.

Fawad Chaudhry had in fact showed the true intentions of the Federation by giving his statement regarding elimination of Sindh government, said the Wahab. He said the minister had been issuing such sensational statements without any valid cause to divert the public’s attention away from inefficient working of the federal government.