Government Turns Up To Clarify Who Is Maleeka Bokhari

In the age of information technology, access to information has become very fast and easy. Every minute million of Google search are made, emails are sent and Facebook and other social media platform are accessed. The urge for being informed every minute have stoked surge in ‘fake-news’.

The phenomenon of spreading fake news especially on social media has been a global phenomenon. Almost every country of the world is facing the challenge of controlling and combatting the spread of fake news and Pakistan is not an exception.

Recently, a notification stating Malaeeka Bokhari has been appointed as chairperson Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) went viral on social media.


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The purported notification from the government proved to be a weapon at the hands of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led government’s opponents.

The notification was widely shared stating that Maleeka is a sister of Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistani Zulfi Bukhari.

The anti-govt or PTI guns started blazing and government came under intense fire on social media for ‘nepotism’ and ‘cronyism’ over the purported appointment.

However, the notification proved to be fake. Later it turned out that Maleeka was not appointed as BISP Chairperson nor he is related to Zulfi Bukari.

She took to Twitter to clarify that she has neither been appointed as BISP head nor is related to Zulfi Bukhari.
But the clarification was not enough to put the rumours mills at rest and the government of Pakistan had to come up with a clarification.

On Monday, a spokesman of the federal government issued a statement contradicting the news item appearing in a section of media regarding the appointment of Ms. Maleeka Ali Bukhari as Chairperson, Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) as baseless.

The statement said: “The correct position is that Maleeka Ali Bukhari has been appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to Ministry of Law and Justice and is not related to Sayed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development.” The spokesman expressed the hope that media will desist from publishing/airing news without verification.

Earlier in the day, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry also took to Twitter stating “a series of Fake notifications and news is systematically spread on social media, it started from a media dinner picture and now there is a series of such rubbish. Without affecting freedom on SM we need to take strict action against fake news.”

Crackdown on fake news spreaders ordered
Meanwhile, State Minister for Interior Shehryar Afridi ordered Federal Investigation Agency to sort out as to who was behind spreading fake news on social media. The minister asked the agency’s director general to launch a crackdown on those spreading fake news on social media.

@FakeNews_Buster launched
This did not stop here as Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in the evening launched a Twitter account @FakeNews_Buster for exposing fake news.

The first tweet of the account states: “The objective of social media is information, education and knowledge sharing. It should be based on truth and should not spread fake news and disinformation to achieve ulterior motives. Otherwise, it will erode its credibility.”

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said this account would respond to fake news and action would be taken against those responsible for spreading it.

    • Yup, thanks to your leadership of Imran khan. He started all this thing. Nothing like this existed before him.

  • So now tax payers money being used to improve PTI governments image ???? There will always be fake news. Why does the Government need to respond to each one ? That means time is being spent on this and not actual work to improve citizens lives. Same result different faces PTI=PMLN

    • Why our public doesn’t have the brains to think out of the box?
      You should know that parties like PML-N and PPP have been using fake accounts via their ‘Cyber Cells’ to generate such propaganda. That’s not the worst part. The worst part is that everyone starts spreading this on twitter and other stuff without credible confirmation or evidence. (E.g. The recent letter circulating on social media about hiring of IK’s Wife’s sister with a salary of 750k, is not even on letterhead … yet didn’t stop people from believing and spreading it like fire).
      In such cases, do you expect the current Govt. to just sit idle and do nothing? Tomorrow if someone starts saying such things about you or your family, won’t you stand up and refute these allegations? I’m sure you will, and maybe more aggressive than current Govt.

      So, Why this is any different?

        • Every party has a media cell. I have yet to see a PTI account which is used to spread fake propaganda, or even personal attack towards other people. If there is, it should be treated with same law/rule.

          • Bhai ap youthiay ho na ap ko kahan pti ka fake account gang nazar aye ga, wo to ap k lye motabir hain bhai jesy ky propakistani k aamir aata k lye.

            • I love it when i read burned out comments like yours. Hate some more. While you are dividing people into Youthias and Patwaris, my focus in towards the corrupt lot who is having some major pain in their a** due to the change in leadership of my country. And once again, i fully trust Imran Khan. Call me whatever you want to call.

      • I voted for PTI but if the government starts clarifying each accusation then what work is it going to do? Its not possible to clarify every ones accusations. Instead the way to answer the accusers is to use the time on productive activities to improve citizens lives. How is proving who this lady is improving your or my life or the economy ???

        • Exactly. Which is why we have a Ministry dedicated to Information & Broadcasting, so that other people in government can focus on their work.
          Have you seen IK himself coming forward to clarifying such accusations? NO. And you won’t, because it’s not his job. His focus is on the agenda he brought forward for Pakistan.

  • FINALLY, Mr fawad has said what should have been done long ago. Media needs to be regulated to an extent where “fake news” MUST be confirmed first, before spreading it like fire. I have seen Media houses propagate with fake news by presenting it as utter truth, and then shamelessly deliver hours of discussions on it..

    I hope our Army also takes initiative and launches an operation against these fake accounts, and brings all these anti-state elements to justice. Media needs to be put on a leash where they educate the general public about REAL issues, instead of masala like wives of ministers, personal petty issues and whatever.

    Also, all those ‘camera generalism’ needs to be controlled as well, where every person brings out the camera to record the sh** and acting judge, jury and executioner on the spot. While this is very beneficial in some scenarios, this is so dangerous in long term if it’s not under control. I have seen one video where a civilian is pretty much harassing a soldier, taunting him to respond. And when he does respond, everyone is suddenly sympathising the idiot who got punched.

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