September 22, 2023

Five years imprisonment for running fake news, no one will get immunity

Prime Minister Imran Khan has consulted with Fawad Chaudhry and me regarding this law.


Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Law, Forough Naseem, has said that those who report fake news will not be guaranteed and no one will be exempted under the PICA Ordinance.

Speaking at a press conference in Karachi on Sunday, the law minister said, “Now running fake news will be punishable by five years instead of three years and it will be non-bailable.” The media wants to criticize but it should not be fake news.

“The trial of these cases will be completed in six months,” he said. If the trial is not completed within this period, the relevant High Court will ask the judge about the trial not being completed. If there is no reason, this judge will be punished.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has consulted with Fawad Chaudhry and me regarding this law.

Will the speeches of the Prime Minister also come under this law? In response to this question, the Law Minister said, “No one is exempt. Wherever there have been mistakes in the past, we must now move in the right direction. “

This law does not contradict Article 19 of the Constitution at all. Nowhere in the constitution is it allowed to run fake news. Outside courts impose heavy fines on fake news.

Citing an example, he said, “Misinformation was spread about the first lady and Imran Khan that she has left home. How would you feel if such news was spread against you?

Forough Naseem added, “Our true Pakistani journalist does not give fake news. It is given by people who have their own personal agenda or have a disinfo lab from abroad behind it.

Earlier on Sunday, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) had termed the proposed law as a non-bailable offense to criticize the government and the state on social media as against democratic values.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said in a statement on its official Twitter account that the proposed law, which would increase the sentence from two to five years and make it a non-bailable offense, is anti-democratic.

“(The proposed law) will be used to silence dissent and criticism of the government and the state.”

Responding to a question from the Human Rights Commission on its concerns over the law, the Federal Minister said, “If the HRCP has read the proposed law properly, I am sure they will reconsider their position.” The HRCP cannot say that you should run fake news and not be punished.

“If the NAB or any other department makes an allegation against someone, even if it proves to be false, the victim can go to court,” he added.

It may be recalled that on Saturday, Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had said that “those who run dirty campaigns on social media should be scared now.”

Talking to private TV channel Geo News, the Information Minister said that those who shared objectionable material on social media would be arrested without bail. He said that changes were being made in the law after which such cases would be decided within six months.

Fawad Chaudhry said that everyone in Pakistan wants laws related to social media to be made. When asked if there would be action on social media only for posting against personalities or even for criticizing institutions, he said that action would be taken for posting against both personalities and institutions.

Earlier, Fawad Chaudhry had said that the proposed laws to change the code of conduct for elections in Pakistan and to make it a punishable offense to “insult the people” on social media have been sent to the federal cabinet for approval.

“Two important laws have been sent to the federal cabinet for approval,” he wrote in a Twitter message. Under the first law, parliamentarians are allowed to participate in election campaigns, while under the second law, insulting people on social media is a punishable offense.

According to Fawad Chaudhry, the new rules “oblige the courts to make a decision within six months.”

Earlier, local media reported that the federal government had decided to make criticism of institutions an inviolable police crime.

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