Threats to Trump from Pakistan, FIA seeks help in tracking down


ISLAMABAD: Amid confused and mistrust in bilateral Pak-US relations, a new development has emerged and the United States has sought Islamabad’s help in tracing threats to US President Donald Trump originating from Pakistan, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) informed the National Assembly Standing Committee on Government Assurances on Monday, regretting that it was hard to track down people who posted blasphemous material on social media.
FIA Cyber Crimes director retired Capt Muhammad Shoaib told the lawmakers that it was hard to identify the culprits behind the posts depicting Pakistan Tehreeki-Insaf(PTI) chairman Imran Khan as Lord Shiva, and the alleged threats made to President Trump.
He said the US authorities had last week contacted the FIA with a complaint that someone had threatened Mr Trump and sought help to identify the person who had sent the message. However, he said that they had been unable to identify the suspect so far. After the committee meeting, Mr Shoaib told Dawn that the US authorities had been advised to contact the FIA through diplomatic channels — Foreign Office.
“We will start investigation after getting a request through diplomatic channels, and after identifying the person who threatened Mr Trump, we will provide information through the same channel,” he said. Earlier, speaking on the blasphemy complaint against depiction of Mr Khan as a Hindu deity, Mr Shoaib said that as many as 17 accounts had been identified from where the pictures had been posted. About 15 of them were based in India, and only two of them were from Pakistan, he said, adding that of the two accounts in Pakistan, one had deleted the post but the other still carried it. Mr Shoaib said that since social media was controlled from the US, they had forwarded a request to the US Webmaster for information about the user who had initially uploaded the picture. MNA Ramesh Lal said it was unfortunate that there was no progress in the matter.
MNA Lal Chand Malhi said the account, which had posted the picture, had one million followers, and suggested that the FIA take steps to identify the user. However, Mr Shoaib informed the committee that operators ofsocial media sites did not share information about users, especially politicians. “We can only block Facebook in Pakistan but it will create a problem,” he said. Committee chairperson Umerzadi Tiwana directed the FIA and the PTA to take up the matter again. “If the issue is not addressed, as a last option we can go for closure ofsocial media because we cannot put the lives of people at risk,” she said. She directed the PTA and FIA to submit a report within a week.