An estimated 19.5 million people use TikTok on a regular basis in Pakistan. With all the hate surrounding famed TikTokers Hareem Shah and Sandal Khattak, certain quarters are pushing to get the social media app banned.
People have filed many petitions to ban the video-sharing platform in Pakistan. This includes a petition filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC). However, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) says that no action will be pursued against the app for now.
According to INCPAK, PTA said currently it has no plans to ban TikTok. The state institution made that decision despite almost 500 applications requesting that they take action. PTA says they have no plans to ban the app because they are collaborating with them.
Blame It On Hareem Shah and Sandal Khattak
Another reason PTA might not be banning TikTok is because of the root cause behind all the complaints. Petitions to ban TikTok spiked with the recent controversies surrounding the TikTokers Hareem Shah and Sandal Khattak.
It all started with Hareem Shah’s TikTok video inside Pakistan’s Foreign Office. People were irked by the lack of respect displayed for the consular-access only premises.
After that, an explicit video of national cricketer Shaheen Afridi was shared on Hareem Shah’s alleged Twitter account. Hareem had denied the cyber-crime and asserted she didn’t have a Twitter account.
Later Hareem Shah tweeted a video call with Pakistan’s Railway Minister Sheikh Rasheed where the two TikTok stars accused the minister of being inappropriate with them.
Again Hareem just denied that it was her Twitter account. This escalated when another call with another Pakistani politician, Fayyaz ul Hassan, Minister for Information in Punjab, was leaked.
Hareem then fled to Canada in ‘self-exile’ and applied for asylum citing threats to her life. Days after that she posted a selfie with Mufti Abdul Qawi, a cleric nominated in the murder case of Qandeel Baloch.
Recently she shared her first music video on Twitter. Despite the blunt public opinion, PTA has clearly stated there’s no ban on the app for now.