No restriction on social media but unbridled freedom unacceptable: Nisar

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ISLAMABAD, May 23 (APP): Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Tuesday said no restriction would be imposed on social media but at the same time unbridled freedom could not be allowed.
“We all realize the importance of social media. There are rules for every institution, organization or government, but, unfortunately no such rules exist for social media,” Nisar said while addressing a press conference here.
For the last two weeks, he said, posts against national institutions had surfaced. Some 27 social media accounts were identified for posting offensive material and six persons were interviewed, he said.
He said the persons under interrogation were even asked to bring their lawyers along with them during questioning. Their electronic devices would be got checked forensically, and if any evidence was found, the accused would be arrested.
“It is not my personal issue, or that of the PML-N, rather it is an issue of the society. Our cultural and religiously values are under attack from a section of social media,” he said, adding that the Constitution of Pakistan, institutions and the values were under attack by a section of social media.
Nisar observed that crackdown of FIA against ‘blasphemous’ posts had resulted in a huge decline in offensive material being posted online.
He said the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the use of social media would be made and future generations would be protected against ‘trash’ of social media.
Nisar said that he had given clear directions that indiscriminate action should be initiated against all those involved even if someone was from the PML-N.
“We want the social media to grow but it must come under some law or code of conduct,” he added.
He reiterated that the government was not for blocking social media but it was calling for a regulated exercise of freedom of expression.
He also hinted towards facilitating service providers here in Pakistan to stop misuse of social media and said that the SOP might be devised for the purpose too.
Nisar said efforts were accelerated to track Internet users’ activities online and hunt down undesirable elements.
The minister also mentioned about his detailed meeting with all representative bodies of media including APNS, CPNE and PBA.
He said the meeting’s agenda revolved around evolving a consensus policy to safeguard national security interests and it was agreed to implement the recommendations of the meeting.
He said that the participants of the meeting also agreed over a code of conduct regarding the national security and further meetings would be conducted for resolving other important issues.
The minister said that representatives of media bodies agreed to work together and there was no point of difference or even difference of opinion found.
To a question about reported suicide by a messenger of Interior Ministry, he said that investigation was underway into the matter. However, he was told that the deceased was in stress for job of his son.
About the criticism of PPP leaders against him, he quoted one of his friends as saying that such criticism enhanced his respect.
He said all the requirements of Interpol would be fulfilled for the issuance of red warrants against those, who were wanted in Pakistan in different cases.