The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday issued notices to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and the information ministry on a petition challenging the ban on X (formerly Twitter), Aaj News reported.

X has remained largely restricted in Pakistan since February 17 when former Rawal­pindi commissioner Liaquat Chattha accused the chief election commissioner and chief justice of Pakistan of being involved in rigging the February 8 general elections.

Speaking to the media last month, Caretaker Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting and Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Solangi said some elements were using social media platforms to incite violence and chaos.

Addressing a press conference, he said the government would take strict action against all those involved in such illegal activities as per law.

He said that freedom of expression under Article 19 of the Constitution was subject to law of the land.

IT sector will not flourish with frequent social media/internet blockage

IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq took up the plea today. The judge was informed that the government has imposed a ban on X since February 17.

The IHC then issued notices to the information ministry and the PTA, and adjourned the hearing till next week.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Bahramand Tangi moved a resolution last week in the Senate to ban Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, X, and YouTube.

The resolution states that social media “platforms are adversely affecting the young generation in the country.”

“Acknowledging the fact that these platforms are being used for promotion of norms against our religion and culture, creating hatred amongst the people on the grounds of language and religion,” the resolution read.

Furthermore, the resolution stated that these platforms were being used to spread fake news about various issues.

Calls on Pakistan to lift ban

Last month, the United States called on Pakistan to lift restrictions on X.

“We are concerned by any report of restrictions on the exercise of the freedom of expression and association in Pakistan, including a partial or complete government-imposed internet shutdown,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters.

“We continue to call on Pakistan to respect freedom of expression and restore access to any social media that has been restricted including Twitter, now known as X,” he said.

“We have and we will continue to emphasize the importance of respecting these fundamental freedoms during our engagements with Pakistani officials.”


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