Pakistan: IHC questions spies’ ability over failure to trace those who doxxed judge


ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has questioned the premier spy agency’s ability to deal with threats of ‘fifth generation warfare’ after it failed to trace X accou­nts involved in the doxxing of Justice Babar Sattar.

The case was initiated after Justice Sattar filed a complaint over a malicious social media campaign in which the personal information of his family, including their US Green Cards, were published on X.

An IHC larger bench comprising Justices Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri and Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan took up the case on Monday.

Additional Attorney General Barrister Munawar Iqbal Duggal submitted a report from Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which stated that since the X account involved in publicising the judge’s personal information had been deleted, the spy agency could not take any action.

The report also highlighted issues related to foreign jurisdictions and cited the case of Adil Raja, who allegedly maligned institutions. He was still at large and no action could be taken against him since he was in another country.

Justice Ishaq questioned why intelligence agencies were incapable of digging out facts “despite millions of dollars and unlimited resources at their disposal”. The IHC bench expressed displeasure over the report and rejected it.

‘Unlimited resources’

“Why is the agency not capable of coping with the challenges of the fifth generation war?” the judge asked while referring to the modern interpretation of asymmetric warfare, of which disinformation is a big component, according to experts.

The spy agency was subsequently directed to submit a fresh report.

AAG Duggal told the court that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) was already conducting an inquiry and had identified social media accounts allegedly involved in the campaign against the judge.

The bench noted that after six IHC judges wrote a letter to the Supreme Judicial Council, “three malicious campaigns were simultaneously orchestrated against them”.

This was a reference to a March 25 letter in which the IHC judges, including Justice Sattar, accused the intelligence apparatus of interference in judicial affairs, including attempts to pressure judges through abduction and torture of their relatives and secret surveillance inside their homes.

The bench directed the FIA to conduct an inquiry against X handles, who initiated the campaign against Justice Sattar.

An FIA official who appeared in the court said several X accounts also shared controversial posts against the judge.

The bench directed FIA to identify and include such accounts in the