FACTUALY INCORRECT REPORTAGE LEADS TO ONLINE ABUSE OF MINISTER AND HER DAUGHTER
The Federal Investigation Agency on 2nd October suspended an official Asif Iqbal for acting as unofficial spokesperson for the agency. “Service of Muhammad Asif Iqbal, assistant director/senior investigator (BPS-17) cybercrime reporting centre Lahore is hereby placed under suspension with immediate effect till further orders,” is what the order said.
A little while later, Dawn – Pakistans leading english daily published a story claiming that some influential person in Islamabad had a role in getting the officer suspended. This story opened a barrage of abuse against the Minister and her daughter who is a vocal critic of the government and a human rights campaigner who was also mentioned in Dawn’s story due to her tweet.
Soon after this story, FIA decided to clarify some facts which were then also tweeted by Human Rights Minister Dr. Shireen Mazari.
Dr. Mazari aslo asked Dawn to apologise or be ready for a legal notice
Meanwhile, an official letter from FIA exposed the whole story confirming that Mr. Asif Iqbal was given an explanation on 28th of September regarding running a twitter account and acting as unofficial spokesperson for FIA.
This letter pointed out factual errors in the story by Dawn as the tweet by Asif Iqbal which came under criticism was done on 29th September, a day after he had been issued a formal explanation by FIA. After the explanation letter, Mr. Asif Iqbal instead of focusing on the decorum of his organisation, preferred to tweet on 29th September again.
Fawad Chaudhary, Federal Minister for Science and Technology also came in support of the Human Rights Minister saying Dr. Mazari will never do a thing out of the book.
Dr. Arsalan Khalid, Prime Ministers Focal Person on Social Media tweeted two documents from FIA, dated 23rd and 30th July which clearly says that running social media accounts for FIA employees is not allowed.
On 3rd of November, Dawn put out a story again regarding the suspension of FIA official this time with correct information but with no apology to the Human Rights Minister Dr. Shireen Mazari.
Comparing the two stories, it is clear that Dawn did get the facts wrong in the first story, mentioning Dr. Mazari’s daughter and opening up a hate campaign against both the Minister and her daughter while failing to apologise to the minister in their second story.