Pakistan News

NEW LOW: Now, 'Naya Pakistan' Investigates Journalists For Changing Social Media Picture To Protest Against Mohammed Bin Salman's Visit

Written By Aishwaria Sonavane | Mumbai | Published:

Hack:

  • Pakistani journalists and press freedom advocates have claimed that the military and the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) are hounding media outlets to quash critical coverage.

When it comes to Freedom of Speech in Pakistan, their media has been fraying following the massive crackdowns, choking of voices and constraining dissents by security-establishments.

Pakistani journalists and press freedom advocates have claimed that the military and the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) are hounding media outlets to quash critical coverage, thus tainting the freedom of journalists. 

In a similar appalling incident, Pakistani authorities have known to launch an investigation against five well-known journalists and a blogger for sharing a photograph of the slain Saudi Arabian journalist, Jamal Khashoggi to protest against his welcome. 

The journalist was murdered by Saudi Arabian authorities, close to Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman inside the Kingdom's consulate in Turkey on October 2, 2018, that led to global outrage demanding a probe against the culprits.

READ| "US Intelligence Said, After Khashoggi's Murder, Repressive Regimes Like Pakistan Would Have Emboldened To Silence Critics," Said Pakistani Journalist Taha Siddiqui Fearing Assassination

The investigation pertains to the social media campaign against Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, during his recent visit to Pakistan. 

An official confidential letter that was leaked said that the Cybercrime Wing of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had been directed by the Interior Ministry of Imran Khan to launch a probe against journalists, activists or groups who engaged in the social media campaign against the Kingdom's crown prince during his visit on February 17-18. 

The letter stated that the activists displayed a picture of murdered Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi on their social media profiles, thus disrespecting the visiting dignitary.

Those involved in the list have been known to be critical of the country's powerful military establishment and the installed Prime Minister Imran Khan.  

In November last year, the CIA concluding their investigation had confirmed that the murder was ordered by the Crown Prince himself. 

Back in December, it was reported that websites have been shut down, including the Urdu website of the U.S. government-funded Voice of America, after it reported on a movement critical of military operations in regions bordering Afghanistan.

WATCH: "Goats, Eggs And Hens... Naya Pakistan" Video Of Imran Khan Getting Roasted By His Own Countrymen Goes Viral

Authorities are also targeting social media, asking Twitter to suspend accounts and submitting thousands of requests to Facebook to take down pages for a variety of reasons, ranging from criticism of the military to propagating hate and insulting Islam.

During Imran Khan's election campaigning, journalists say intelligence agents had called reporters to demand that opinion pieces be withdrawn and to quash investigative reports on allegations that the military intervened in the vote to help elect the current Prime Minister.

(With AP inputs)

DO NOT MISS