Pakistan Blocks Social Media X Over National Security Concerns

Pakistan confirmed the suspension of the social media X citing concerns over national security. This decision was implemented since February has created discussions surrounding freedom of speech, democratic principles, and the role of social media in political discourse within the country.

Pakistan Blocks Social Media X Over National Security Concerns

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Pakistan’s interior ministry confirmed the shutdown in February, citing national security concerns. The decision was prompted by alleged misuse of the platform and its failure to comply with lawful directives from the government.

Concerns were about X’s role in facilitating protests against alleged election rigging particularly after a government official’s admission of vote manipulation.

The Sindh High Court criticized the government’s decision and ordered the restoration of the platform within one week.

Legal challenges showed the importance of internet access and questions about the government’s authority to restrict social media platforms.

Users faced difficulties accessing the platform since mid-February. The ban disrupted online businesses and commerce adding to the challenges faced by struggling economy.

The ban followed allegations of election rigging and protests by the Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. Claims of vote manipulation and demands for an election audit by public outrage and criticism of government actions.

The United States expressed support for internet access but refrained from direct intervention in Pakistan’s internal affairs. The ban has concerns about freedom of expression and relations between other countries.

The government justified the ban as necessary for upholding national security, maintaining public order, and preserving the integrity of the nation.

Confidential reports from intelligence and security agencies were cited as evidence of hostile elements operating on the platform to destabilize the country.

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Human rights organizations including the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), condemned the ban as a violation of democratic rights and freedom of expression.

Civil society groups called for an immediate end to the restrictions on social media platforms and urged the government to respect fundamental rights.

The suspension of X coincided with nationwide protests initiated by the Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) following allegations of election rigging in February.

The party’s call for protests against perceived electoral fraud led to tensions prompting the government to take action.

The Sindh High Court (SHC) criticized the government’s decision to suspend X addressing the importance of freedom of expression. SHC Chief Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi directed the government to restore access to X within one week.

]The suspension of X follows allegations of vote manipulation and electoral malpractice in the February elections particularly concerning the results in the Rawalpindi division.

Accusations against top government officials have fueled public outrage and calls for transparency in the electoral process.

Legal experts and civil society activists have challenged the ban on X, citing constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression and access to information.

Advocacy groups like the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) have condemned the government’s actions.

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