Voices of dissent in Pak branded as ‘anti-state’ based on Canadian data

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has rejected as misleading a report released by the government declaring political opponents and journalists as ‘anti-state’ elements on the basis of ‘assumptions’.

Speaking at a press conference here, senior PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that the so-called “Anti-State Trends Deep Analytics Report” has been released to divert the attention of the nation from the real problems facing the country, including the government’s failure on economic and diplomatic fronts, the Dawn reported.

He said the voices of dissent have been branded as anti-state on the basis of data of a Canadian company, which said it never sold them to Pakistan.

He said the names of politicians known for raising their voices for the supremacy of the Constitution, including Afrasiab Khattak and Farhatullah Babar, have been mentioned in the report.

He said even the former wife of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Reham Khan, has not been spared.

Abbasi said speaking about corruption within the government and talking about scandals have become a national security issue.

“Under martial law, political leaders and journalists are called traitors… What is the difference between [martial law] and a political government that brands political parties and patriots as anti-state,” Abbasi asked.

He said the document claimed that three million tweets were posted, but it failed to mention what were they about and did not even indicate whether the tweets were against the country or pro-Pakistan.

“A large portion of the report is against Pakistan’s political parties,” he said, adding that the report failed to determine whether the tweets were in favour of the country or against its interests.

“Struggling for democratic rights and talking about supremacy of the Constitution and freedom of expression have been declared as anti-state acts,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, claimed that nobody from Pakistan has been declared anti-state in the analytic report of the Digital Media Wing (DMW) of the Information Ministry, issued just a couple of days ago.

The DMW in its report provided data of 150 trends running on Twitter, he said, adding that a total of 3.7 million tweets were posted to build an anti-Pakistan narrative.