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Pakistan's Punjab govt to ban social media during Muharram

The Punjab government of Maryam Nawaz has requested her uncle Shehbaz Sharif's government at the Centre to notify the suspension of all social media platforms on the internet for six days (July 13-18).

News Arena Network - Islamabad - UPDATED: July 4, 2024, 08:39 PM - 2 mins read

Representative Image.

Pakistan's Punjab govt to ban social media during Muharram

Representative Image.


A temporary ban of 6 days on the social media platforms - YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok will be put in place by Pakistan's Punjab government in a bid to control "hate material" during Muharram (first month of the Islamic calendar). These six days will begin from July 13, till July 18.

 

The decision has been taken on the recommendations of Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz's cabinet committee on law and order.

 

It's been over 4 months since the Islamic nation blocked 'X', formerly Twitter.

 

The committee has recommended banning all social media platforms - YouTube, X, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, among others - during 6 to 11 Muharram (July 13-18) in Punjab, a province of over 120 million people, to "control hate material, misinformation to avoid sectarian violence", according to a Punjab government notification issued here late Thursday night.

 

The Punjab government of Maryam Nawaz has requested her uncle Shehbaz Sharif's government at the Centre to notify the suspension of all social media platforms on the internet for six days (July 13-18).

 

Pakistan Army Chief Gen Asim Munir has already declared social media a "vicious media" and underscored the need to fight what he called "digital terrorism".

 

Pakistan's Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar, who also holds the portfolio of foreign minister, recently called for placing a complete ban on social media.

 

The Shehbaz government had shut down X last February following allegations of change of general election results by the Election Commission of Pakistan, apparently on the order of the military establishment to stop Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's jailed founder Imran Khan from coming to power.

 

Both the military and the government have been receiving backlash on social media since the ouster of former prime minister Imran Khan through a no-confidence motion in April 2022.

 

The government has arrested dozens of social media activists of Khan's party since then. 

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