ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has said that journalists and other stakeholders would be consulted about amendment imposing 7-year imprisonment for those spreading hatred via social media. He made it clear that the government will withdraw bill if the amendment were supposed to be leading to restriction on freedom of expression of public.
Rana Sanaullah said that social media needed to be controlled as it was being used to spoil privacy of citizens. The issue holds key importance and government hopes amendments will not hurt the freedom of expression of people, he added. The Interior Minister said that transfer of power to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) relating social media amendment would be discussed in the Parliament.
Talking about long march of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), he said that the issue of entry of party chief Imran Khan into Islamabad is under hearing in the court. He said that Imran Khan will be allowed to come here if he assures Islamabad High Court (IHC) that the march would remain peaceful.
The Interior Minister while responding to the query whether the government will negotiate despite PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif’s prohibition to do so, said that “negotiations are always supported in politics and no politician ever says no to such offers. However, whenever we talk about holding negotiations, Khan resorts to hurling abuses.” He also added that while talks are held with politicians, the same cannot be said in the case of Khan because he is a “political terrorist” and not a politician.
The federal cabinet on Wednesday approved an amendment imposing seven-year imprisonment for those spreading hateful content on social media. Under the amendment, the FIA has been authorised to take action against such individuals. The proposal has also recommended the inclusion of Section 505 of the Pakistan Penal Code in the FIA Act. Once the amendment is approved, FIA will also have the authority to take action on any kind of “fake news” and rumours on social media. The cabinet approved the amendments in the FIA act through a summary moved via circulation. The final approval of the amendment will be taken by Parliament.