Does ISI monitor hate groups on social media, asks SC

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has directed the Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) to submit a report on whether social media presence of those spewing hatred and extremism and attacking the state is monitored, and what steps are taken to contain them.

The two-judge bench of the top court, comprising by Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Qazi Faez Isa, issued a written order in a suo motu case regarding the Faizabad sit in.

The order says that within a fortnight, the ISI should submit a fresh report which comprehensively attends to all matters which they were required to in previous orders.

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“ISI shall also mention whether the organisations and their leadership, which had taken the law into their own hands and paralysed the twin cities, are under surveillance and whether their antecedents have been determined. In this regard, we expect that comprehensive information should be provided. In addition, the court is informed whether ISI monitors extremist organisations and persons and those who jeopardise the functioning of the state,” says the four-page order.

The court has also sought assistance from the attorney general for Pakistan as to the authority that monitors and may regulate social media.

The court order notes that extremism and terrorism are being advocated thereon and are freely circulated on social media unchecked, and if it remains unchecked, it may well become impossible to control, with grave consequences.

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In addition, the court has asked whether those who violate the constitution and laws of Pakistan on social media are prosecuted.

The court order says that the report of loss and damage caused to the public and private property, persons and members of law enforcing agencies has been filed, however, deaths caused on account of inability to reach hospitals etc has not been mentioned, which should also be submitted before the next date of hearing.

“A report disclosing the cost incurred by the State on the sit-in, which needless to state is borne by the public exchequer, must also be submitted, including the cost incurred in treating the injured and the compensation, if any, paid with regard to destruction of property and on account of injuries and deaths,” says the order.

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