Upper House Parliamentarians have sought legislation under the Article 19 to make sure that the Cyber Crime Act is not misrepresented and misused under the excuse of national security.

The opposition senators spoke apprehension and concern over the misuse of the act as a biased and political tool to restraint in social media activity.

Lawmakers sought to identify why the act was not being applied to verify the obvious exploitation of social media by the banned outfits, which have hundreds of web pages and also spread their posts and messages of hate and terror via Facebook and other media tools.

Debate was conducted on a movement “the threat to freedom of expression by misuse of the Electronic Crimes Act and the impunity with which crimes were endlessly being steadfast against journalists and media persons, Farhatullah Babar, PPP Senator insisted that the FIA report on the arrests made under the Cyber Crime Act be placed in the Parliament as obligatory by the act.

Babar also asked for legislation under Article 19 of the Constitution so that freedom of expression is not excessively muffled behind formless references to national security and defending the honor of armed forces.

“After a blanket order issued in recent times by the Interior Ministry Cases adjacent to social media activists have greater than before. Approximately 1,000 cases have reportedly been registered in a small period of time. The Parliament has to know about a number of cases, charges and the courts where the accused are tried,” he emphasized.

State Minister for Interior Baleeghur Rehman said that the government has no ulterior motive behind the law, as it is purely meant to discourage the elements which are misusing cyberspace.

Raza Rabbani, the Senate Chairman said that according to the law, the government is bound to present and make available a half yearly report to the Parliament, but not a single report has been presented to the house throughout the law.

Ministry of Interior needs to present the report in the both the houses of the Parliament in the span of one month. He added.

In response to this, the Minister said that the reports will be compiled within a week and then they will be surely presented in both the houses.

State Minister for Information Technology Anusha Rehman Khan, said that Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is the executing body, and the Parliament can call upon it anytime if consider it is essential.

 Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is just allowed to supervise the contents. She also dismissed the notion that the government wants to close the internet or social media through the law, Anusha Rehman declared that there is no truth in it.


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