Peshawar High Court Seeks Response on X Service Restrictions

Peshawar High Court Seeks Response on X Service Restrictions
Peshawar High Court Seeks Response on X Service Restrictions
Peshawar High Court Seeks Response on X Service Restrictions
Peshawar High Court Seeks Response on X Service Restrictions

Peshawar High Court Seeks Response on X Service Restrictions

Peshawar High Court Seeks Response on X Service Restrictions

Peshawar High Court Seeks Response on X Service Restrictions

The Peshawar High Court in Pakistan has directed the federal government and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to respond to a petition challenging restrictions on the social media platform X in the country. Lawyer Nouman Muhib Kakakhel filed the petition seeking the complete restoration of X service, with interim relief to restore the service until the petition is disposed of.

Legal Challenge Against Social Media Restrictions

Kakakhel argues that the systematic disruptions and blocking of X service are unconstitutional and violate fundamental rights. The respondents include the federal government, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication, and the PTA. The court, comprising Justice Ijaz Anwar and Justice Wiqar Ahmad, ordered a response from the authorities after a preliminary hearing.

Nationwide Impact of Court Orders

The bench deliberated on whether the high court’s orders would apply nationwide, given that the Sindh High Court had issued similar orders in a separate case. Kakakhel emphasized the importance of X as a micro-blogging platform used by various segments of society for communication, expression, and information sharing. He highlighted the platform’s role in news dissemination, entertainment, business marketing, and community engagement.

Protection of Freedom of Expression

Kakakhel argues that while the misuse of social media platforms should be addressed, blanket restrictions are unjustified and unlawful. He asserts that existing laws provide mechanisms to address national security concerns without infringing on freedom of expression. The petitioner contends that social media plays a crucial role in shaping public opinion and facilitating discourse on national issues, emphasizing the need to safeguard this space for democratic dialogue and engagement.

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