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Key ally of Pakistani PM demands end to ban on X, formerly Twitter – The Diplomat

Key ally of Pakistani PM demands end to ban on X, formerly Twitter – The Diplomat

 


A key ally of Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif called on the government to lift a two-month ban on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, saying Friday it violates citizens' right to privacy. speech and expression.

The ban on to gain power.

We demand that the ban on of the Pakistani people. The PPP is an important member of the coalition that allowed Sharif to form a government in March.

Babar is known as a human rights advocate who took a stand for civil rights and the protection of minorities during his three-decade political career.

The Sharif government presented conflicting justifications for the ban in public statements before telling an Islamabad court that the decision to impose it was taken in the interests of maintaining national security, maintaining peace and security. public order and the preservation of the integrity of the nation.

According to Pakistani daily Dawn, in its brief to the court, the Interior Ministry claimed that the lack of cooperation from Twitter/X authorities in combating content that violates Pakistani laws and values ​​further justifies the need regulatory measures, including temporary ban.

The Sindh High Court on Wednesday asked the government to overturn the ban following petitions from human rights activists. The same court had previously ordered the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to restore access to X, but the decision was not implemented. Its new decision sets a deadline of one week for the ban to be lifted.

Millions of people use X in Pakistan, and the Khans Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party particularly depends on it. The PTI claims the restrictions were aimed at suppressing his voice on social media.

Many people use VPN software to circumvent the government block on X, and access to the platform has been intermittently restored, but human rights activists want the ban to end altogether.

Babar made his comments a day after X said he was in contact with Pakistan. The company's Global Government Affairs department issued a short statement saying: “We continue to work with the Pakistani government to understand their concerns.

Pakistan said social media was being used to defame the country's institutions, a phrase often used to refer to the military and judiciary. Both faced criticism from Khan, who was ousted in a vote of no confidence in April 2022.

Babar said there was a perception that these institutions were behind the ban.

There are some powerful forces in Pakistan, and you know, there is a perception here that these forces are in charge and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is at the back, and we ask the Prime Minister to dispel that impression by lifting the prohibition. on X with the power he currently has, Babar told the Associated Press.

Washington also urged Pakistan to lift restrictions on X.

Sources

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