Washington urges Islamabad to reinstate access to X and other social media platforms

WASHINGTON/ISLAMABAD: On Wednesday, the United States urged Islamabad to uphold freedom of expression and restore access to all social media platforms, including X (formerly known as Twitter).

“We are concerned by any reports of restrictions on freedom of expression and association in Pakistan, including government-imposed internet shutdowns, either partial or complete, which also affect social media platforms. We continue to urge Pakistan to uphold freedom of expression and lift restrictions on any social media platforms, including Twitter, now referred to as X,” stated State Department Spokesperson Mathew Miller during a press briefing in response to inquiries regarding disruptions on social media in Pakistan.

The spokesperson emphasized that Washington has consistently stressed the importance of respecting these fundamental freedoms in its engagements with Pakistani officials. He confirmed that Washington had conveyed its stance to Islamabad through official channels.

Global Mobile Operators Body Concerned About Internet Restrictions in Pakistan

GSMA, an international organization representing the mobile ecosystem, expressed apprehension regarding connectivity and internet service limitations in Pakistan during Election Day, labeling it a violation of human rights and freedom of expression, as reported by The News on Thursday.

A representative from GSMA contacted Caretaker IT Minister Umar Saif to convey the organization’s concerns regarding the restrictions on connectivity and internet services in Pakistan leading up to the 2024 General Elections, on the election day itself, and the subsequent ongoing decline in service quality.

The international body highlighted that these restrictions contravened individuals’ rights, as outlined in international human rights conventions.

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