Two months on — Shehbaz government not willing to lift ban on X — fear of propaganda still exists

By Irum Saleem

Popular social media platform X (formerly Twitter) is cognizant of the fact that the government of Pakistan has banned it for the last two months but still it says will continue to work with the Shehbaz Sharif administration to “understand their concerns”.

    In a statement the X’s Global Government Affairs said that “we will continue to work with the Pakistan government over the ban on X.”

   Access to X has been disrupted 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. According to Imran Khan’s PTI, mandate thieves are ruling in Pakistan with impunity.

   The FIA had initiated several FIRs against hundreds of Twitter accounts. The interior ministry says the “lack of cooperation from Twitter/X authorities in addressing content that violates Pakistani laws and values further justifies the need for regulatory measures, including the temporary ban”.

“The government of Pakistan has no alternative but to temporarily block access/suspend the operation of this platform within Pakistan,” it said.

 X was neither registered in Pakistan nor had it signed an agreement to abide by local laws. It said the platform’s “failure to establish a legal presence or engage in meaningful cooperation with Pakistani authorities underscores the need for regulatory measures to ensure accountability and adherence to national laws”.

“The ban on Twitter/X serves as a necessary step to address this regulatory vacuum and compel the platform to respect the sovereignty and legal jurisdiction of Pakistan,” the interior ministry said.

The Shehbaz government seems upset and unlikely to lift ban on X. 


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