Why X is banned in Pakistan, govt tells court


X ban

KARACHI: The Federal Ministry of Interior has defended the ban imposed on social media website X, formerly known as Twitter, in Pakistan, calling it a measure for national security.

The Ministry of Interior has submitted its reply to the Sindh High Court in the X ban case, stating that hateful content against the country’s institutions was being uploaded on X, which necessitated banning it.

The social media site X has been banned for national security and its dignity, the reply said.

In the reply, the interior ministry said that the ban on the social media platform X is not a violation of the fundamental constitutional right of freedom of expression.

“This ban has been imposed in light of the report from intelligence agencies, which said that some elements on X (formerly Twitter) instigate instability in the country. Article 19 states that freedom of expression is subject to the observance of laws,” the reply said.

According to the interior ministry, all legal requirements were met before banning X. It said that X is a foreign company that has repeatedly been asked to comply with Pakistan’s laws, but it has not signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Pakistan.

In the reply filed in the high court, it was further stated that the interior ministry had no option but to temporarily close X. Therefore, the petition against the ban should be rejected, the reply said.

Earlier, Federal Minister of Information and Broadcasting Attaullah Tarar stated his opposition to banning any social media platform during discussions with the media on Thursday.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader acknowledged that blocking the social media platform X (formerly Twitter) was not a “good move”. However, he justified the government’s action by pointing out the “extensive presence” of the banned terrorist outfit Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) on X.

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