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Social media platform 'X' shutdown continues for seventh day in Pakistan

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Islamabad | February 24, 2024 11:56:46 AM IST
After almost a week, the popular social media platform 'X' is still inaccessible to Pakistanis and the caretaker government has yet to disclose the reason behind the prolonged disruption, Geo News reported.

According to the report, the shutdown that began last Saturday resulted in users across the country being unable to share information.

Caretaker Minister for Information and Technology Dr Umar Saif was not immediately available for a comment and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has yet to issue a statement on the matter.

"User reports indicate possible problems at X (Twitter)," said website tracker Downdetector.com, Geo News reported.

According to the report, despite being the country among the top internet users globally, Pakistan struggles with internet availability, ranking low compared to its peers, while reportedly authorities intermittently disrupt access to social media platforms.

Ahead of the February 8 general elections, users were unable to access several social media sites, for which authorities concerned blamed an error. However, on the polling day, the internet was shut down to avoid terrorism, according to the caretaker government. Following the sought-after polls, there were repeated disruptions in accessing X.

Internet shutdowns directly contradict constitutionally guaranteed rights like freedom of information (Article 19-A), freedom of speech (Article 19), and freedom of association (Article 17). In its February 2018 ruling, the Islamabad High Court declared internet shutdowns against fundamental rights and the Constitution.

Digital rights activists had slammed the authorities' move to disrupt the access to the social media platform and deplored the utter lack of transparency from the government.

Meanwhile, the Sindh High Court Thursday ordered the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to fully restore the services of social media platform X across the country and sought a detailed response from the authority and other parties at a later hearing, however, the PTA is yet to allow accessibility. (ANI)

 
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