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Business News/ Technology / News/  X still down in Pakistan: Mysterious shutdown of social media giant continues to baffle Pakistanis
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X still down in Pakistan: Mysterious shutdown of social media giant continues to baffle Pakistanis

Social media platform 'X' remains inaccessible in Pakistan for almost a week with no clear explanation from the government.

For representation purposes only. (AP)Premium
For representation purposes only. (AP)

In a perplexing turn of events, the widely used social media platform 'X' remains off-limits to the Pakistani populace for almost a week, with the caretaker government remaining tight-lipped about the cause behind the prolonged disruption, as reported by Geo News.

The shutdown, which commenced last Saturday, has left users across the nation unable to share information. Dr. Umar Saif, the Caretaker Minister for Information and Technology, was not available for immediate comment, and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has yet to release an official statement regarding the matter.

Website tracker Downdetector.com mentioned, "User reports indicate possible problems at X (Twitter)," as per Geo News.

Despite Pakistan being one of the top global internet users, the country faces challenges in internet availability, ranking lower compared to its counterparts. Authorities are known to intermittently disrupt access to social media platforms.

Prior to the general elections on February 8, users experienced difficulties accessing various social media sites, with authorities attributing the issue to an error. However, on polling day, internet services were suspended to prevent terrorism, according to the caretaker government. Following the elections, there were recurrent disruptions in accessing 'X.'

It is worth noting that internet shutdowns directly contradict constitutionally guaranteed rights such as freedom of information (Article 19-A), freedom of speech (Article 19), and freedom of association (Article 17). In a significant ruling in February 2018, the Islamabad High Court declared internet shutdowns to be in violation of fundamental rights and the Constitution.

Digital rights activists criticized the government's decision to disrupt access to the social media platform, highlighting the lack of transparency. Meanwhile, the Sindh High Court issued an order on Thursday directing the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to fully restore 'X' services across the country. The court sought a detailed response from the authority and other involved parties in a subsequent hearing, but as of now, the PTA has not granted accessibility.

(With inputs from ANI)

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Published: 24 Feb 2024, 01:52 PM IST
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