Federal govt hints at shutting down social media in Pakistan

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Defence Minister Khawaja Asif stated on Tuesday that the government always has the power to shut down social media sites and that it might apply that option at any time if the Pakistani authorities step up their efforts to combat May 9 protestors.

After PTI Chairman Imran Khan, was taken into custody, PTI supporters trashed both private and public properties on May 9.

Following the incident, the authorities shut off internet access for millions of people nationwide for nearly four days on the justification that social media was a key source of incitement.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah had justified the services’ blockage by asserting that the party’s “entire work,” including “the planning and the abuse, all of it is done on social media,” was done online.

Defence Minister Asif remarked in an interview, “The option to censor social media is always present. The suspension may resume at [any moment],” if necessary.

The defense minister defended his position by pointing out that social media sites are governed in China and other emerging nations, such as Europe.

The minister remarked, “Social media is regulated everywhere,” adding that the websites were used to agitate individuals, which resulted in their violent behavior on May 9.

The minister also valued the fact that those responsible for the attacks on military facilities and martyrs’ monuments were held accountable.

Asif stated that although there were legal obstacles, the administration will overcome them to pursue the idea of convicting civilians in military courts.