Sindh High Court Orders Full Restoration of Social Media Platforms

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has ordered the federal government as well as the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to reinstate access to social media platforms in Pakistan including X, formerly known as Twitter. X has been inaccessible in the country for the past 4 days.

The directive was handed down by the SHC bench led by Chief Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi, in response to a petition challenging the recent “unconstitutional” internet disruptions observed across the country.

During the hearing overseen by Justice Abbasi, discussions extended to various pertinent issues, including the imposition of internet service restrictions on election day.

During the hearing of a petition filed by rights activist Advocate Jibran Nasir regarding the suspension of internet and social media services, the chief justice posed a direct question to the lawyer representing the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA): “When will you restore the internet?”

In response, the PTA counsel informed the court that the authority had taken action based on directives from the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The PTA counsel justified the restriction of internet services citing concerns over the prevailing law and order situation throughout the country.

Additionally, the court has requested a report from the PTA regarding the suspension of internet services on election day. Furthermore, notices have been issued to the federal government, and the hearing has been adjourned until March 5th.

As mentioned earlier, access to X has been disrupted for several days in Pakistan ever since Commissioner Rawalpindi admitted to helping rig the general elections. He acknowledged that he “personally supervised” the manipulation of over 70,000 votes, turning winners into losers overnight. He also said that he would be giving himself up to the police.

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