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Pakistan Embassy Serbia’s Twitter ‘hacked from Karachi’

Claims staff hasn’t been paid for three months

SAMAA | - Posted: Dec 3, 2021 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
Posted: Dec 3, 2021 | Last Updated: 1 month ago

The Pakistan Embassy in Serbia apparently went rogue on Friday and tweeted against what they claimed to be the non-payment of the embassy staff’s salaries.

However, the embassy and the foreign office later said that the Twitter handle was hacked from Karachi and the hackers were behind the rogue tweets.

The tweet, which went live at 10:56am Pakistan time, read that the inflation in the country has broken all previous records.

The person using the embassy’s Twitter account tagged Prime Minister Imran Khan and asked “how long do you expect @ImranKhanPTI that we government officials will remain silent and keep working for you without being paid for the past 3 months”.

The tweet has been deleted since. Here’s a screenshot.

Pakistan embassy in serbia tweets against Imran Khan

The Tweet also claimed that the children of the embassy staff have been expelled from schools “due to non-payment of fees”.

“Is this #NayaPakistan?” the tweet read.

In another tweet, the person apologized to the prime minister for their act. “I am sorry @ImranKhanPTI, am not left with another option.”

Dr Arsalan Khalid, Focal Person to PM on Digital Media, claimed that the account has been hacked and the foreign office is conducting an inquiry.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the social media accounts of the Pakistan Embassy in Serbia have been hacked.

Finally the Pakistan embassy in Serbia was able to regain the control of its Twitter handle. It said “the Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts of the Embassy of Pakistan in Serbia have been hacked. Messages being posted on these accounts are not from the Embassy of Pakistan in Serbia.”

The embassy issued a statement to the media saying the hacked account was logged into “from a Chrome desktop on a Windows device in Karachi, Pakistan at 05:59 hours local time (09:59 PST)” and the hackers posted a message at 6:59am local time (10:59 PST).

Officials going rogue

Last month, the prime minister ordered an inquiry against Hammad Shamimi, Senior Joint Secretary Cabinet Division, for his remarks against the government on social media.

“One similarity between the PTI and the [Afghan] Taliban is that both are wondering how to run the government after coming into power. And both have invested their hopes in Abpara,” Shamimi had allegedly shared. After the post, he was suspended.

In August this year, the federal government almost barred its employees from expressing their views or engaging in discussion on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other similar applications.

The Government Servants (Conduct) Rules, 1964, prohibits government servants from participating “in any media platform except with the express permission of the government”.

The memorandum says that under Rule 22, government servants were not allowed to make “any statement of fact or opinion which is capable of embarrassing the government in any documents published or in any communication made to the press or in any public utterance or television programme or radio broadcast delivered by him or her.”

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