Working with govt to 'understand concerns': X

Social media giant makes first comments since its Pakistan ban in Feb

Our Correspondent April 19, 2024


Social media platform X has said it would work with the Pakistani government “to understand their concerns” after authorities insisted an ongoing two-month ban on the micro-blogging network was based on security grounds.

The statement was made by X’s Global Government Affairs on late Wednesday night.
The platform, formerly known as Twitter, has been rarely accessible since February 17, when jailed former premier Imran Khan's party called for protests following ex-Rawal¬pindi commissioner Liaquat Chattha allegation that the chief election commissioner and chief justice of Pakistan were involved in rigging the general elections conducted earlier that month.

"We continue to work with the Pakistani Government to understand their concerns," X's Global Government Affairs team posted -- their first comments since the site was disrupted.

On Wednesday, the interior ministry in a report submitted to the Islamabad High Court wrote that X was blocked in the country on security grounds.

The report read that on the intelligence agencies’ request, the interior ministry issued orders for the closure of X on February 17, 2024, aimed at safeguarding national security as well as maintaining the law and order situation.

“Social media platforms are being used indiscriminately to spread extremist ideas and false information. X is being used as a tool by some nefarious elements to undermine law and order and promote instability,” it added.

In a related development, the Sindh High Court ordered the interior ministry to either justify the shutdown of X or rescind its February 17 letter directing the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to ban the network.

The prolonged disruption of X raised widespread concerns about democratic freedoms in the country.

A total of 28 civil society organizations, including Amnesty International and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, issued a joint statement of condemnation.
(With input from AFP)


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