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Pakistan temporarily blocks X over national security concern: Interior Ministry

Social media users in Pakistan have encountered challenges accessing the platform owned by Elon Musk since mid-February

Written by  Shefali Kohli -- April 17th 2024 05:10 PM
Pakistan temporarily blocks X over national security concern: Interior Ministry

Pakistan temporarily blocks X over national security concern: Interior Ministry

Pakistan blocks X: Pakistan’s Interior Ministry on Wednesday ordered the temporary blockage of social media platform over national security concerns. 

Social media users in Pakistan have encountered challenges accessing the platform owned by Elon Musk since mid-February. This occurred when the party of jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan called for nationwide protests, alleging rigging in the general elections.


"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," report says. 

The ministry accused the social media company of showing reluctance to cooperate with Pakistani authorities in addressing "critical" issues.

Detailing the platform's shutdown, the report said the interior ministry had on February 17 "asked for blocking of X (Twitter) immediately till further orders" on the reports of intelligence agencies.

"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," it contended, adding that the decision was taken after considering "various confidential reports received from intelligence and security agencies of Pakistan".

It emphasised that "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 ban on Twitter serves as a necessary step to disrupt the activities of these elements and prevent them from achieving their destructive objectives," the report said.

On March 20, the interior ministry informed the Sindh High Court (SHC) that the social media platform was blocked in February pending further orders on the reports of intelligence agencies.

The interior ministry's admission came days after Information Minister Attaullah Tarar acknowledged that X was "already banned" when the new government took over the reins from the caretaker set-up, saying there was no official notification for the clampdown.


- With inputs from agencies

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