‘Malicious campaign’ against top judiciary being probed as per law, Solangi


Caretaker Minister for Information, Broadcasting and Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Solangi on Sunday said the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was investigating the “malicious campaign” against the top judiciary on social media in accordance with the law.

Addressing a press conference along with officials of the FIA, PTA and other relevant institutions, the minister said the JIT was formed on January 16 to probe into the anti-judiciary campaign on the social media networking sites.

He said the JIT’s first meeting was held on January 17 while the second one convened on January 23. The process to probe into the drive was still underway, he added.

So far, 600 social media accounts were investigated, he said, adding as many as 100 inquiries were registered.

The minister said that notices were served to 110 individuals that included 32 journalists and 22 political workers.

The notices to the identified individuals were served in accordance with the law, Solangi said while brushing aside the reports regarding the harassment of journalists in the matter related to a “malicious campaign” against top judges.

The minister said that it was imperative to bring forth the facts in this regard. So far no First Investigation Report (FIR) was lodged against anybody, nor was anyone arrested in this matter.

Solangi said that the law would take its course and actions against those who were involved in running the campaign against the judiciary would be taken in accordance with the law.

To a query, he said that the law of the land prohibited from running campaigns against the judiciary and armed forces. “This is not about criticism rather it is related to character assassination and ridiculing [of the judiciary],” he said in response to another query.

“What has been done against the judges of the apex court during the last couple of days on social media, it does not come under the pretext of criticism,” he said while clarifying that there should be a difference between criticism and ridiculing someone.

To another query, he said the caretaker government could only take measures in accordance with its mandate. However, the legislation on any issue was the job of the Parliament whose lower house did not exist as of now.

“Nobody has been picked up since the JIT is formed,” he said while dispelling the impression of a witch-hunt under the garb of the JIT.

He said the intensity of the malicious campaign had decreased significantly since the formation of the JIT.

Director-General FIA Ahmad Ishaque Jahangir said that notices were served to give an opportunity to the identified individuals to give their side of version on the issue.

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