Pakistan to probe trolling of officials over ‘rigging’ in Feb 8 polls

NewsDrum Desk
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Islamabad: Pakistan’s caretaker government has constituted a joint investigation team, including from the ISI, following a massive social media campaign against officials and functionaries of the top poll body alleging their involvement in the reported rigging of elections, according to media reports on Thursday.


The report is to be submitted in 15 days.

The joint investigation team (JIT) will look into the relevant people who have trolled government officials and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) functionaries and “identify and prosecute the culprits” under the relevant laws.

The JIT formation comes in the wake of the consistent allegations by the jailed former prime minister Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party that the government officials and also those from the ECP were involved in what Khan described as “Mother of All Rigging,” which he claimed enabled his arch rivals to steal his party’s mandate.


Two weeks after the voting day, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) struck a power-sharing deal to form a coalition government led by ex-prime minister Shehbaz Sharif, a move that could effectively keep Khan out of power.

Both the PML-N and the PPP won fewer seats in Parliament than candidates backed by Khan’s PTI in an election mired in controversies, including vote rigging, PTI has alleged and unleashed a substantial campaign on social media claiming that the powerful establishment was hand in gloves with the perpetrators of rigging.

“As per a notification issued by the interior ministry, the JIT was formed under Section 30 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016 and an additional director general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) will be its convener,” reported.


Other members will be from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the National Database & Registration Authority (Nadra), and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). It could also hire IT experts if required to probe the “malicious” social media campaign.

According to the terms of reference of the JIT, it will identify and prosecute individuals involved in social media campaigns against government officials for their alleged role in irregularities on the day of polling.

It will also propose measures to counter such campaigns in the future. The JIT has 15 days to submit its report to the relevant office.