Home Pakistan X Banned Over National Security Concerns: Pakistan Govt Tells Court

X Banned Over National Security Concerns: Pakistan Govt Tells Court

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FILE PHOTO: X' logo is seen on the top of the headquarters of the messaging platform X, formerly known as Twitter, in downtown San Francisco, California, U.S., July 30, 2023. REUTERS/Carlos Barria//File Photo

Pakistan government confirmed on Wednesday that it had imposed a ban on the social media platform X, previously known as Twitter, citing national security concerns. This announcement ends months of speculation following user-reported disruptions to the service in Pakistan that began in mid-February.

The disclosure came from the Interior Ministry through a written statement submitted to the Islamabad High Court, detailing the reasons for the government’s decision to block access to the platform.

The ministry’s document pointed out that the platform’s non-compliance with the lawful directives issued by the Pakistani authorities, coupled with concerns over the misuse of the platform, necessitated this drastic action.

According to the ministry: “It is very pertinent to mention here that the failure of Twitter/X to adhere to the lawful directives of the government of Pakistan and address concerns regarding the misuse of its platform necessitated the imposition of a ban.”

“The decision to impose a ban on Twitter/X in Pakistan was made in the interest of upholding national security, maintaining public order, and preserving the integrity of our nation,” the government said, adding that the decision was taken after considering “various confidential reports received from intelligence and security agencies of Pakistan,” reported Dawn.

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Justifying the ban, the government said, “hostile elements operating on Twitter/X have nefarious intentions to create an environment of chaos and instability, with the ultimate goal of destabilising the country and plunging it into some form of anarchy”.

The government says X is neither registered in Pakistan nor has it signed an agreement to abide by the law of the land, thereby creating a regulatory vacuum. The ban serves as a necessary step to address this regulatory vacuum and compel the platform to respect the sovereignty and legal jurisdiction of Pakistan, the government told the court.

The outcome of this legal and digital confrontation could set a precedent for how social media platforms operate in Pakistan.

With inputs from Reuters