Federal Minister’s Statement Regarding X Blockage in Pakistan Is False

On March 13, 2024, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Attaullah Tarar in a press conference denied blockage of X(Formerly Twitter) in the country during a press conference, stating, “Twitter is working fine, if there is any notification for blockage then we can talk about it.”

The claim gained traction on social media, particularly on X (formerly Twitter), the claim was shared here and here accumulating more than 500K views.

According to reports from NetBlocks, an internet monitoring watchdog, X remains “fully or intermittently restricted for most users since Feb 10” NetBlocks records difficulties accessing X from Pakistan as of March 9. Despite Sindh High Court orders to restore X’s services, the platform remains suspended in Pakistan. During court proceedings, a Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) representative denied any blockage of X in Pakistan, on the contrary, the platform remains inaccessible.

Islamabad and Sindh High Court ordered the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to restore the microblogging site’s services. Yet, the court decision remains unenforced, and the social media platform is still suspended in Pakistan. Indeed, in court, a PTA representative denied the blockage of X in Pakistan. There needs to be more transparency from the government regarding the reasons for continuing to impose restrictions on social media platforms. The lack of clarity makes it difficult to discern the true motivation and creates an environment of speculation.

X users have been voicing for the un-ban. Social media activists, journalists, and human rights defenders have requested the X authority to take action against the ban as it is a great violation of free speech and imposes a threat to the fundamental right to expression.

Many international human rights organizations condemned the ban of X in Pakistan. Amnesty International South Asia office urged the Pakistani authorities to uphold the rights to freedom of expression and access to information under the country’s international human rights commitments.

Our fact check confirmed that the claim denying the blockage of X (formerly Twitter) in Pakistan is false. Despite the government’s denial and court orders to restore access, X remains inaccessible to most users in Pakistan. The lack of transparency surrounding the reasons for the ongoing blockage creates confusion and raises questions about the government’s intentions.



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