IHC issues notices to ministry, PTA over suspension of social media platform X

X remains inaccessible since former Rawalpindi commissioner’s allegation regarding poll fraud


The Islamabad High Court issued notices on Tuesday to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Ministry of Information on a petition challenging the suspension of social media platform X (formerly Twitter).

The platform was blocked soon after the then Rawalpindi commissioner Liaquat Ali Chatha accused the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa of engaging in ‘rigging,’ a charge refuted by both the electoral watchdog and the Chief Justice. The social media app had earlier been suspended during the run-up to the February 8 polls. 

The petition, filed by Ehtisham Abbasi on Monday, named the information ministry and the PTA as respondents. IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq heard the plea and inquired if the social media platform was still suspended in the country. 

“X has been suspended since February 17,” the petitioner replied and added that a hearing of a contempt plea on the matter was scheduled in the Sindh High Court (SHC) today.

The petition further said the undeclared suspension of the social media platform violates Article 19 of the Constitution and prayed to the court to issue directives to the respondents for the immediate lifting of the ban.

The court then adjourned the hearing till next week and issued notices to the respondents. 

Read: Social media platform X faces more disruptions in Pakistan

The SHC has also heard the matter. During an earlier hearing, Chief Justice Aqeel Ahmad Abbasi heard related petitions and ordered the restoration of all social media apps, including the microblogging website X.

The high court also sought an explanation from the relevant authorities regarding the internet outage on election day.

The PTA lawyer informed the chief justice that the social media apps were suspended on the orders of the interior ministry. 


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