The Interior Ministry informed the Islamabad High Court (IHC) about the necessity of banning social networking site X, formerly Twitter, due to its failure to address concerns regarding its misuse. The decision to impose X ban in Pakistan was made to safeguard national security and maintain law and order. As the legal battle unfolds in the courts, the government faces mounting pressure to provide concrete evidence justifying the ban while addressing public concerns about democratic rights and access to information.

X Ban in Pakistan: Interior Ministry’s Report

In a report submitted to the IHC, Interior Secretary Khurram Agha defended the ban on X, citing the platform’s failure to comply with lawful directives and address concerns raised by the government and intelligence agencies. The report emphasized that the closure was necessary to prevent the spread of extremist ideas and false information, which were undermining public order and promoting instability.

The report highlighted the request from the FIA Cybercrime Wing to X officials to ban accounts propagating against the chief justice, which went unaddressed. It also noted the Ministry of Interior’s issuance of orders for the closure of X on February 17, 2024, to safeguard national security and maintain law and order.

Judicial Response and Public Concern

The IHC expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s report, criticizing it as speculative and lacking solid evidence to justify the ban raising concerns about democratic freedoms in the country, with civil society organizations and human rights bodies condemning the prolonged disruption of X. Federal Information Minister Attaullah Tarar acknowledged the suspension of X in Pakistan, noting its impact on access and the use of VPNs to bypass restrictions.

During court proceedings, the joint-secretary of the interior stated that X was shut down based on a report from the Intelligence Bureau (IB), which deemed the platform’s content a threat to national security. However, Justice Farooq criticized the report as speculative and emphasized the need for solid evidence to justify the ban.

Read more: Interior Ministry Holds Responsibility for X Ban in Pakistan, PTA Informs IHC


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