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PM vows ‘exemplary punishment’ to violent trolls targeting civil servants

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ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar said on Monday that the state of Pakistan shall defend the civil servants in discharging their constitutional duties, act against the “violent trolls” and ensure “exemplary punishment” to them.

The statement came days after the Rawalpindi Commissioner, confessed to his “involvement in rigging election results in the city”, and resigned from his post demanding to be “hanged for doing injustice” to the Rawalpindi Division.

Chattha, in a press conference at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, claimed that 13 candidates from Pindi were forcefully declared winners, adding that “we gave the losing candidates leads of 50,000 votes”.

“I have done injustice to the Rawalpindi Division,” he said. “I tried to commit suicide today after Fajr prayer. But then I thought, why should I die a forbidden death? Why not put everything in front of the people?” he said.

“I accept the responsibility of election rigging in Rawalpindi Division and surrender myself to the police,” he said.

However, Chattha’s allegations have been denied by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the new newly-appointed Rawalpindi Commissioner.

“There should be no doubt about our commitment to these noble civil servants serving the state and the people of Pakistan,” the premier said in a statement issued by his office today.

PM Kakar said that the people of Pakistan have spoken with a clear voice on February 8 and have given a split mandate. “Some elements with a proven track record of violent behaviour and vigilantism are now using different tricks including weaponisation of social media in blackmailing and pressurising civil servants to switch their loyalties from the State of Pakistan to the violent gang,” he added.

The premier said that the actions of these elements were in clear violation of Article 5 and other articles of the Constitution and the laws of the land.

“The state of Pakistan shall defend the civil servants in discharging their constitutional duties, act against these violent trolls and ensure exemplary punishment to them. There should be no doubt about our commitment to these noble civil servants serving the State and the people of Pakistan,” he concluded.

Popular microblogging site ‘X’, formerly known as Twitter, also had its services disrupted in Pakistan on Monday for the third consecutive day.

Users nationwide have grappled with prolonged inaccessibility to the platform, marking yet another glitch in internet instability in the weeks leading up to, during, and after the hotly-contested February 8 national elections.

According to Downdetector, X services were disrupted at around 1pm.

A day earlier, Maryam Nawaz, the PML-N’s chief organiser and nominee for the Punjab chief minister’s slot, echoing similar sentiments, warned that legal action would be taken against those who were inciting the bureaucracy to break the law – indirectly referring to the PTI.

Maryam wrote on social media platform X that threatening the bureaucracy meant creating chaos in the state system, and an open indulgence in this practice was an invitation to disaster.

Addressing the bureaucracy, Maryam said officers should not be intimidated by threats and perform their duties according to the law.

The PML-N leader continued that those who threatened the security of the officers would be dealt with “iron hands”. She vowed to ensure the security of the officers.