ISLAMABAD  -    Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior Senator Rehman Malik Friday directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to trace origin of three different fake lists being circulated on the social media about 14 defector senators.

The joint opposition in the Senate, the other day, faced embracement when Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani survived its no-confidence motion due to the votes of 14 lawmakers who defected from the opposition.

Soon after Thursday’s Senate session, three different kinds of lists containing names of 14 senators of Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, and others became viral on social media describing that these lawmakers sold out their votes.

PPP Senator Malik directed the FIA and PTA to trace the origin of “these three fake list which are defaming many senators on social media and said circulation of such information without verification came under the definition of the fake news which is punishable under the cyber crime. He took to the Twitter to give this statement and said that the “culprits spreading this “fake news” will be very soon in the clutches of law.”

He in a second tweet said that he hoped that all those who promote such fake news were equally punishable according to Pakistani law under United Nations Organization (UNO) Charter. “People must not promote fake news as it is morally and legally wrong.”

As the name of PML-N Senator Lt General (retd) Abdul Qayyum was also mentioned among the 14 defected lawmakers, he in a statement issued on Friday denied the charges. “August 1 would be remembered as the black day in the democratic history of Pakistan not because that a no-confidence motion against chairman Senate remained unsuccessful,” he said added; “But because that some coward and conscienceless senators first voted in favour of the motion by rising from their seats but they either spoiled their votes or voted against the motion through secret balloting while ignoring their parties’ direction.”

He said that this practice was the worst example of a low level character. He said that the names being circulated on social media was an effort to hide the names of real culprits and condemned this move.  He said that he had requested the PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif to hold an inquiry to expose those who stabbed in the back of the party. “I have also offered my resignation to the party president in front of all PML-N lawmakers,” he concluded.