Ban on X legitimate, aims at national security and public safety, govt tells SHC
KARACHI: (Suno News) The federal government has told the Sindh High Court (SHC) the suspension of social media platform X’s services is "legitimate exercise of government’s authority to regulate the use of social media platforms”.

 The government claimed that the move does not violate Article 19 of the Constitution as all necessary legal prerequisites were satisfied in this regard.

Various petitions were filed in the SHC against the prevailing ban on the social media site along with intermittent suspension of internet services in the country.

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The Interior Ministry’s reply to these petitions filed against the ban before the SHC reads, "While Article 19 enshrines fundamental right [of freedom of speech and expression] it is subject to reasonable restrictions imposed by law and in the interest of public order, morality and sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan.”

The interior ministry in the reply argued that the decision to impose a ban on X is a "legitimate exercise of government s authority to regulate the use of social media platforms" which is aimed at addressing genuine concerns related to national security and public safety.

The government contended that hateful content targeting the country s institutions is uploaded on social media, especially X, and since no memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed with the company so far. The government pleaded that it was left with no option but to impose a temporary ban on the social media platform.

The ban was imposed on the report of security agencies, it said.

"Certain elements want to spread instability in the country via X. The country had previously banned TikTok and other social media platforms under similar concerns before [as well]," the ministry s response read.

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In the reply, the government requested the court to dismiss the constitutional petitions and has termed them as non-maintainable arguing that the petitioners have no locus standi due to lack of cause of action and that none of their rights have been infringed.

The social media users find it difficult to access X as well as other social media platforms owing to the government s decision to ban and limit access to them citing security concerns.

Earlier, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had told the SHC that it blocked social media platform X on February 8 across the country after receiving directions from the federal interior ministry.

It said the ministry ordered the shutdown on the basis of reports it had received from intelligence agencies.