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Social Media platforms to be banned for 6 days in Pakistan


The Pakistan government is set to ban all social media platforms, including YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, from July 13 to 18 to control “hate material” during Ramadan. This decision follows a four-month block of X, formerly Twitter.
Chief minister Maryam Nawaz’s cabinet committee on law and order recommended the ban during 6 to 11 Muharram to “control hate material, misinformation to avoid sectarian violence” in Punjab, a province with over 120 million people, according to a Punjab government notification issued late Thursday night.The Punjab government has asked the federal government, led by Nawaz’s uncle, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, to implement the suspension.
“Social media is a vicious media,” declared Pakistan’s army chief Gen Asim Munir, emphasizing the need to combat “digital terrorism.” Deputy prime minister Ishaq Dar, who also serves as the foreign minister, recently called for a complete ban on social media.
The Shehbaz government had previously shut down X in February following allegations from the Election Commission of Pakistan of tampering with general election results, a move believed to be influenced by the military to prevent Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s founder, Imran Khan, from gaining power. Since Khan’s ouster via a no-confidence motion in April 2022, the military and government have faced significant backlash on social media, leading to the arrest of numerous social media activists from Khan’s party.

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