Islamabad, Feb 13 (PTI) Pakistan plans to launch a “massive” crackdown targeting hate speech and extremism on social media, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Wednesday as he boasted arrests have already been made.

“A mechanism to this effect (launching a crackdown) has been prepared in consultations with the security agencies In the next few weeks we will launch a massive crackdown,” he said while addressing a seminar here.

Chaudhry regretted that certain elements through fake accounts on social media are resorting to hate speeches and issuing edicts. He said these elements will be brought to book.

“This week we have made some important arrests on the basis that they used social media to issue fatwas and advance their extremist narratives and threats,” he said, adding that the state will not allow extremists to dictate their narrative by use of force.

“Only the state has the power to use force or violence. Any individual cannot be allowed to the same,” he said.

He said enforcement of relevant laws will be implemented to ensure rule of law. He also said that informal media was a problem and a new body would be set up to regulate it.

“We are also establishing Pakistan Media regulatory authority which will provide one window facility to all the media outlets and ensure enforcement of related regulations,” he said.

Chaudhry said Pakistani had almost overcome the menace of terrorism, which was made possible by the resilience of the nation.

The minister said Pakistan gave immense sacrifices in the war on terror and in the next phase “we will further consolidate the gains made against terrorism by not allowing those resorting to hate speeches.”

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.