Ch. Fawad for Prevention of fake news, misinformation

He stressed the need for preventing the spread of fake news based on bogus social media accounts and contents

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ISLAMABAD, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Friday regretted that the attitude of tendering no apology after publishing fake news by any daily was against the principle of the freedom of expression.

He, in a tweet, stressed the need for preventing the spread of fake news based on bogus social media accounts and contents. He was of the view that it was not for the first time that the Daily Dawn had filled the front page with a story based on fake social media contents, referring to an item about fuel prices published on February 17.

“Till to-date no apology has been tendered, and this attitude is against the freedom of journalism,” he said and remarked, “See the (fake) news on the front page and see where the apology is published.”

It is pertinent to mention here that the daily had published a story on the front page based on the fake account of the Finance Ministry’s spokesman.

Earlier, the minister said the daily had also published a fake media law and an editorial.

In addition to this,   Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Friday said the opposition with diminished public support was not in a position to hold a long march to Islamabad to oust the democratically elected government.

“We will send ‘Doliyan’ (palanquins) to bring you (to Islamabad) on shoulders, as, in my opinion, you are not even able to hold a walk let alone the long march,” he said while addressing the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers here.

The opposition leaders should first stand on their own feet if they wanted to launch a long march, he added. However, “they have no guts and political prowess to challenge Prime Minister Imran Khan who fully enjoys the trust of the whole nation.”

Fawad said the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Jamiat Ulema-e Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) were poles apart as the former was a liberal party and the latter a religious one. But the two got united due to the dearth of workers faced by the PPP, which believed that the students of seminaries could be used to hold the long march.

They were living in a fool’s paradise if they believed that the seminary students could be used to oust a democratically elected government, he said, adding the opposition would not succeed in their nefarious designs.

To oust a government, he said, one had to do struggle, build up an ideology and establish strong contact with the public; otherwise, there was not an iota of a chance for success.

He said the opposition leaders would not be able to bring a no-confidence motion against the prime minister as their own family members did not trust them. They were destined to fail as even their own parliamentarians would not stand by them, he added.

The politics of the Sharif and Zardari families was about to end, Fawad said, advising their scions Maryam Safdar and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to gauge their popularity among the public by contesting election for a mayoral slot before entering the national level politic.

He said Nawaz Sharif fled from the country by telling a lie, and now he and his sons were not returning to the country despite the daily hearings of corruption cases being faced by her daughter Maryam Safdar.

Fawad also came hard on PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif for resorting to excuses in the court which was about to indict him in the money laundering case. Such excuses would not save Shehbaz from accountability, he added.

There were some straight questions that needed to be answered by Shehbaz Sharif, he said, adding the PML-N president had to explain as to how Rs 4 billion had poured into the account of Maqsood, who was a peon at his mill and drawing a meager amount of salary.

Likewise, an amount of Rs 2.5 billion was found in the account of Masroor Ahsan, who drew Rs 20,000 monthly salary from Shehbaz’s mill, he added.

He said there was another character in Shehbaz’s money laundering case whose name was Manzoor and became a billionaire after getting a job in the mills of the Sharif family.

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