Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – In a surprising development in the alleged CSS paper leak scam, the culprit operating fake social media account has been arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency(FIA).

In a thorough investigation, initiated by the agency on request of Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC), during which thousands were questioned, Muhammad Arif Khan was arrested from Faisalabad, who was operating a fake Facebook account in the name of Sadia Kausar.

Muhammad Arif Khan had appeared almost 17 times, before FPSC, as a candidate against various posts. However, he could not qualify in any of these attempts. Such repeated failures infuriated him to an extent that he, in order to avenge his failure, undertook cyber crime against FPSC.

Taking account of the sensitivity of the matter and its reputation, Chairman FPSC immediately took a decision to investigate the matter soon after being informed by a national daily of Lahore on 18 February, 2017 that some guess questions were available on Facebook, and an account holder Sadia Kausar was operating that account.

It was alleged that two topics related to English essay and two questions related to Current Affairs papers were similar to the guess questions placed on the social media. On 26th and 31st January and the said account holder was also charging money for these questions.

The CSS-2017 papers were held from 16th February, 2017 to 25th February, 2017; and papers of English Essay and Current Affairs were held on 16th and 17th February, 2017 respectively.

Chairman FPSC adopted a two-pronged strategy to conduct a thorough probe into the scam. As the guess questions were placed on the social media and related to cyber space beyond the control of FPSC, hence it was immediately reported to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for investigation.

FIA made aggressive investigation into the matter and were all along provided support from FPSC authorities. As the concerned Facebook account was deactivated and deleted by the user therefore FIA sought help from Facebook authorities for locating the IP address/contact details of the holder of the account. FIA has also been in contact with other agencies/departments including NADRA, Integrated Border Security System  to trace the account holder.

Similarly, internally, keeping in view the gravity of the issue, Chairman FPSC also constituted a committee headed by a Member, FPSC with the mandate to probe into the matter. After due deliberations, the committee concluded that strong and foolproof mechanisms were in place to maintain the secrecy and confidentiality of question papers as well as other related information at the Federal Public Service Commission. The committee suspected the account in question to be fake and the information to be of edited category.

Finally, FIA was able to track the original perpetrator of this cyber crime and arrested him from Faisalabad. During investigation, FIA established that the claim of Muhammad Arif Khan pertaining to guess questions pertaining to CSS-2017 examination was a standalone act and was totally divorced from reality.

The investigation also confirmed that on 16th of February, 2017, Muhammad Arif Khan edited his earlier posts and thereby tried to prove the veracity of his claims. However, culprit had no access to the FPSC Database meaning thereby that the systems of FPSC were impregnable to date.

FIA has registered FIR in this regard and the culprit is being challenged in the relevant court of law. With this the perpetrator of such cyber crime would be brought to justice.

Despite the fact that FPSC had no role in the issue but unfortunately the matter was highlighted by the national media in such a manner that damaged reputation of the institution.-Online