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Ministry should revoke order blocking ‘Social Media X’ within a week

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KARACHI: The Chief Justice of Sindh High Court (SHC) directed the Ministry of Interior to revoke its letter regarding closure of social media platform X, (formerly Twitter), within one week. Social media platform X continues to remain inaccessible to users in Pakistan.

“The world is laughing on us,” said the Chief Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi. “What does the Interior Minister gained by shutting down the social media App,” he said. The bench was hearing multiple petitions filed by different advocates.

The Chief Justice said that the court will issue its orders if the interior ministry does not withdraw the directives. The court then adjourned the hearing till May 9.

A day earlier, The Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi said the country needed better laws to regulate internet free speech.

“Expression is fine, but making false allegations against people is wrong — it’s happening and needs to be fixed. We must reassess our own laws and look into what is being misused,” he told the media.

since February owing to the government’s decision to curb access to the social media platform citing national security threats.

Last month, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) told the court that it blocked the social media platform after receiving directions from the Ministry of Interior.

The PTA said that the directions for temporary suspension of mobile internet data service, social media websites and applications were issued by the said ministry after careful consideration of all the relevant reports and circumstances.

Following the regulatory body’s remarks, the interior ministry, in a separate case, informed the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that “content uploaded on the internet” is a “threat” to the country’s national security.

During the hearing today, SHC CJ highlighted that the “law does not empower the interior ministry to act on reports forwarded by intelligence agencies”.

The petitioner’s lawyer said using platform X and other social media does not lead to “blasts”.

The Chief Justice said ” it seems that no justification was given to suspend X, adding that the court will issue its orders if the interior ministry does not withdraw the directives within a week.

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