Minister indicates possible social media suspension in Pakistan


In response to the incidents of violent protests on May 9, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said on Tuesday that the government retains the option to block social media platforms, which could be implemented at any time.

The protesters caused damage to both private and public property, including military installations, following the arrest of former prime minister Imran Khan.

In the aftermath, the government decided to block not only social media platforms but also internet services nationwide for nearly four days, citing social media as a significant source of incitement. This move affected millions of people across the country.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan had justified the suspension by claiming the party’s activities, including planning and abusive behaviour, primarily occurred on social media.

During an interview on Geo News Tuesday, Asif said: “The option to block social media is always available. If need be, it can come into force at any time.”

The defence minister defended this stance by highlighting that social media platforms are regulated in various countries, including China and parts of Europe.

“Social media is regulated everywhere,” he emphasized, adding that these platforms have been exploited to incite violence, as witnessed during the May 9 incidents.

Minister Asif also commended the accountability measures taken against those responsible for the attacks on military installations and martyrs’ memorials.

As part of this accountability, the army has dismissed three officers, including a lieutenant general, for their failure to protect the military installations on May 9.

Regarding the trials of civilians in military courts, Asif mentioned that discussions are underway, acknowledging the existence of legal hurdles but expressing confidence in the government’s ability to overcome them.__Pakistan Today