Federal IT and Telecommunication Minister Aminul Haq said closing social media sites and applications is not a solution to the problem, vowing they will never be shut down again.
“Now it has been decided that no website or app will be closed in any case,” Haq said while speaking at an event titled ‘Accelerating US Investments in Pakistan’ here at a local hotel in Karachi on Friday.
Pakistan has a history of banning social media platforms such as YouTube, TikTok and recently also suspended Wikipedia as well.
“Banning can never be a solution. Any such thing will go through the IT ministry and I am telling you now that there will be no ban from now.”
While responding to grievances and suggestions by IT industry officials such as Indus Valley Capital’s Aatif Awan and President Open Silicon Valley Junaid Qurashi, Haq said that there are severe bureaucratic hurdles at the Finance Division, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
“When we ask anything from the Finance Division, the first answer we get is a ‘no’,” he said.
However, he added that his ministry has been persistent and able to get many things done such as IT export companies being able to retain 35% dollars in their accounts.
However, the minister praised Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for supporting the Digital Pakistan vision despite all the bureaucratic hurdles.