X banned as company fails to address Pakistan’s concerns


ISLAMABAD – The Ministry of Interior has filed a report in the Islamabad High Court against the shutdown of the social networking site X (Twitter) in Pakistan.

A hearing was held in the Islamabad High Court regarding the petition against the shutdown of the social networking platform X (Twitter). The Ministry of Interior, while submitting the report in court, requested that since no rights of the petitioner had been infringed, the petition should be dismissed.

According to the report of the Ministry of Interior, it was asserted that the government of Pakistan’s directives regarding the misuse of the platform by X (Twitter) were not adhered to, hence it was necessary to impose restrictions on X. 

The petition against the shutdown of X is contrary to law and facts. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Cyber Crime Wing had requested for restrictions on accounts propagating against the Chief Justice.

As per the report, the authorities of X ignored the request of the FIA Cyber Crime Wing and did not respond. Non-cooperation from the authorities of X is justification for regulatory actions against the platform, including temporary shutdown. X is registered in Pakistan and is not a signatory to agreements safeguarding Pakistani laws. Besides temporary shutdown, the government has no other recourse against X.

The report of the Ministry of Interior further stated that on the request of intelligence agencies, directives for the shutdown of X were issued on February 17, 2024, to maintain national security and law and order. 

Social media platforms are being extensively used for the transmission of extremist ideologies and false information. X is being utilized as a tool by some nefarious elements to undermine peace and stability.

The report also mentioned that the purpose of the shutdown of X is not to curb freedom of expression or access to information but to ensure responsible use of social media platforms according to the law. The Ministry of Interior is responsible for the protection of citizens and national security. 

Earlier, the government had also imposed restrictions on the social media platform TikTok. After signing agreements safeguarding Pakistani laws, restrictions on TikTok were lifted.

According to the report, the shutdown of X is not against Article 19 of the Constitution. Due to security reasons, various countries around the world impose restrictions on social media platforms.

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