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Govt refuses to restore X platform, declaring it threat to national security

Interior Ministry says ban not breach of Article 19 of constitution: Opines there are some limits to right to freedom of expression: Says ‘X’ management took no action despite govt’s repeated requests

By News Desk

July 8, 2024 03:12 PM


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The government has flatly refused to restore the X social media platform, declaring that the messaging service, formerly known as Twitter, is a threat to the national security, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

According to a copy of the response submitted by the Interior Ministry in the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday and which is available to 24News TV channel, the government said all legal requirements were fulfilled before banning the X platform.

The interior ministry said that it’s the job of the ministry to protect the rights of Pakistani people.

The ministry argued that the ban placed on ‘X’ did not constitute a violation of Article 19 of the constitution, which guaranteed the citizens the right to freedom of expression. “However, there are some limits when it comes to exercising that right,” the statement said, adding, “Hate content against state institutions is shared on social media, especially on X.”

The ministry further said time and again ‘X’, a foreign company, was informed that the content uploaded on the social media platform was offensive. “Consequently, the government was left with no other option but to ban ‘X’ temporarily.” 

“On February 17, the ministry had ordered the closure of the platform immediately,” read the statement, adding, “The fact is that ‘X’ has not signed a memorandum of understanding with Pakistan that it will follow local rules.”

“And in view of violations of the country’s laws, the government had been forced to ban the platform.”

The statement further said that intelligence agencies had also shared with the government reports, which necessitated the closure of ‘X’. “It was for the country’s security and honour that the ban was imposed,” said the ministry.

It was also stated that some people wanted to create instability in the country by sharing vitriolic content on social media. “Keeping in view these factors, Pakistan had banned other social media platforms as well such as TikTok,” the statement said, adding, “But when a foreign firm signed an MoU with the government, the ban was finally lifted.”

The ministry reminded that the closure of social media platforms was also a norm in other countries. “Since the petition is against the country’s interests; therefore, it should be thrown out.”  

 

Reporter Mumtaz Jamali


News Desk


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