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Pakistan's FIA Arrests Doctor And Imran Khan Supporter For Alleged Anti-Army Social Media Campaign

The Federal Investigation Agency's (FIA’s) cybercrime wing launched a major operation against those involved in a hate campaign against the Army chief after an Army helicopter crashed in Lasbela.

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan
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Pakistan's top probe agency has arrested a senior doctor and an ardent supporter of ousted prime minister Imran Khan for his alleged involvement in running a smear campaign on social media against Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and the military.

The Federal Investigation Agency's cybercrime wing launched a major operation against those involved in a hate campaign against the Army chief after an Army helicopter crashed in Lasbela, Balochisthan province on August 1.

The crash killed six army officers on board, including Commander XII Corps Lt Gen Sarfraz Ali, who was supervising flood relief operations in Balochisthan.

"The FIA raided the residence of Dr Sahar Saud, senior registrar at the Children Hospital Lahore, for his alleged involvement in running a campaign against the army, especially the army chief on social media," an FIA cybercrime official said on Friday.

He said the FIA also produced him before a magistrate and obtained his 14-day physical remand for investigation.

Dr Saud is an ardent supporter of ousted prime minister Khan. He was critical of the incumbent Army chief's role in the ouster of Khan on Twitter.

Khan was ousted on April 10 this year after the National Assembly passed a no-confidence motion against him.

"We have also traced a good number of the social media activists involved in the anti-army campaign in connection with the martyrs of the Lasbela helicopter crash, and soon they will be arrested," the official said.

The FIA claims to have identified Twitter accounts involved in spreading fake news about the military and the Army chief.

As per a news report, 178 accounts campaigning against the Pakistan Army belong to the country’s largest party -- the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) -- and the party flags were on these accounts.

According to the FIA, fake and hateful content is being spread on social media under a well-planned conspiracy in an attempt to create hatred between military and the people.

The media wing of the Pakistan Army, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), has condemned the “highly unacceptable and regretful social media campaign” after Lasbela tragedy.

It said the campaign “caused deep anguish and distress among the families of martyrs and rank and file of the armed forces.”

However, Khan has maintained that  "a planned move is orchestrated to pit his party (PTI) against the Pakistan Army." 

(With PTI inputs)

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