Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Ishaq Dar, has made a startling revelation about an international conspiracy aimed at destabilizing Pakistan's economy.

Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar has defended the government’s recent action to block access to the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, citing national interest as the driving force behind the decision. Dar’s remarks on the X ban in Pakistan come amidst growing concerns over the regulation of digital platforms and their impact on national security.

In Defense of the X Ban in Pakistan

In justifying the ban, Dar emphasized the government’s right to take actions deemed necessary for Pakistan’s best interests, drawing parallels with other countries’ decisions to ban certain applications. He questioned the double standards applied by critics, highlighting the acceptance of bans by other nations while criticizing Pakistan’s actions.

Dar’s assertion that the government’s decision was based on multiple reasons reflects concerns over national security and public order. In its defense of the ban, the interior ministry cited reasons such as upholding national security, maintaining public order, and preserving the nation’s integrity. However, the lack of transparency in providing detailed reasons for the ban has flared legal challenges and controversy.

Haroon Baloch of Bytes for All highlighted concerns about data sovereignty and the implications of hosting user data within Pakistan’s jurisdiction. “They [Pakistani authorities] wanted data of Pakistani social media users to be housed or hosted through Pakistan and not be hosted outside Pakistan,” Mr Baloch said. Additionally, concerns have been raised about the role of global content-hosting companies in implementing the ban. Bytes for All research suggests that Akamai, a leading content delivery network, may be involved in blocking access to X at the government’s request. However, Akamai has stated that it is currently not aware of any such requests from Pakistani authorities, raising questions about the transparency of the ban’s implementation.

The Controversy

The Sindh High Court’s decision to grant the government a week to justify the ban underlines the legal complexities surrounding the issue. Critics argue that the government’s failure to provide adequate justification and adhere to established rules for blocking online content raises questions about freedom of expression and due process. Furthermore, the requirement for local registration of social media platforms has been criticized as an attempt to exert control over digital communication and access users’ data.

Read more: Pakistan’s X Ban Crosses One-Month Mark


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