Sindh High Court Order government to restore social media nationwide

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has taken decisive action by instructing both the federal government and the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) to restore access to various social media platforms, including one referred to as X (formerly known as Twitter), to all users within Pakistan.

This ruling follows a petition filed in response to recent instances of internet shutdowns experienced across the country. Under the leadership of SHC Chief Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi, the bench issued this directive to address concerns raised about citizens’ restricted access to online platforms. The SHC has requested clarification from the PTA regarding the suspension of internet services, particularly on the day of elections, aiming to understand the rationale behind such actions and ensure transparency in decision-making. Additionally, a notice has been served to the federal government to provide further information on this matter, indicating the court’s intent to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the internet shutdowns.

The disruption in access to social media platforms, notably X (previously Twitter), has sparked unease among Pakistani users, with reports of nationwide outages following widespread protests linked to allegations of vote rigging during recent general elections. The inability to access these platforms not only hampers communication and information-sharing but also raises concerns about freedom of expression and access to information in the digital era.

The SHC’s intervention highlights the importance of upholding fundamental rights, including the right to access information and freedom of speech, in the digital landscape. By addressing the issue of internet shutdowns and demanding accountability from relevant authorities, the court demonstrates its dedication to safeguarding citizens’ rights and promoting transparency in governance.

This directive from the SHC marks a significant stride in addressing concerns surrounding internet shutdowns and reinstating access to crucial online platforms for Pakistani users. It underscores the judiciary’s proactive role in defending constitutional rights and advancing democratic principles in the digital realm.

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