Benazir said the media has done a remarkable job in the current crisis
The law enforcement agencies of the country do not work against the media, but rather believe in the freedom of the media as they think it is playing an important role in the progress and development of the country.
Benazir Ahmed, Inspector General of Police (IGP), was responding to questions on such issues as the recent arrests of journalists under the Digital Security Act, freedom of the media and rumours on social media, at a press conference in Rajarbagh Police Lines Auditorium on Tuesday.
Speaking of his respect for freedom of the media, the IGP said: “I worked with you [journalists] directly for almost 10 to 11 years. I think of you as our colleagues. We can work together in the field for hours, even day after day. We think of you as our partners.”
He said that the media had done a remarkable job during the present crisis and thanked everyone involved with the media.
“Besides, [the quality of] social media has gone down. Earlier, there was a part of social media that we called ‘Citizens Reporting’. But now ‘Citizens Reporting’ is no longer citizens reporting and social media has been degraded during this crisis. People don't believe any news on social media anymore,” said the IGP.
The police chief thought that during the on-going crisis, some people had been polluting social media with propaganda.
He said the police were working to prevent any kind of unrest in the country caused by rumours circulated on social media as they were constantly monitoring social media.
“If they talk about arrests, it is very minimal. There have been no arrests in the last two days and before they arrest someone, they check their profiles, investigate and then take action against them,” Benazir added.
“We monitor social media as per our capacity. If anyone is trying to foment disturbances with false information, then it is a crime and we take action against them according to the law. That's what we are doing,” he said.
He added: “Those who are working in the media and telling people the truth, especially in the mainstream media, go ahead. We are with you.”
When asked about some allegations from the field levels that there were conflicts between the police and the public administration, Benazir said he had no idea about the allegations.
He said: “I am hearing this from you for the first time. As part of the government, we are working together hand in hand. I do not know about such allegations. So I can't make any comment.”