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Pakistan bans Elon Musk’s X, cites concerns over national security

The admission confirms long-suspected outages reported by users since February’s general elections

Though Pakistani users have been facing problems in accessing X, previously known as Twitter, since mid-February after the former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party called for protests over vote rigging in the February 8 elections, Pakistan’s interior ministry has officially acknowledged blocking access to it.

In a court submission made public on Wednesday, Pakistan’s interior ministry stated that the platform’s failure “to adhere to the lawful directives of the government” and address misuse led to the imposition of a ban in the interest of upholding national security and public order. 

“The decision to impose a ban on Twitter/X in Pakistan was made in the interest of upholding national security, maintaining public order and preserving the integrity of our nation,” the ministry said in report submitted to the Islamabad High Court.


The admission confirms long-suspected outages reported by users since February’s general elections. Both the government and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority have made no comments on the disruptions prior to this but they were noticeable when tracked by internet watchdog groups like NetBlocks. 

The ministry has claimed that the complete ban has come after Twitter/X was “reluctant to resolve the issue” and that blocking the platform was a temporary move until the platform could respond accordingly to the concerns. According to Reuters, confidential intelligence reports were reviewed to go forward with this step, claiming that Twitter/X failed to adhere to lawful government directives and necessitated the ban. 

The report also accused X of hosting hostile elements that “have nefarious intentions to create an environment of chaos and instability, with the ultimate goal of destabilising the country and plunging it into some form of anarchy”

According to a report by the AFP news agency, Moiz Jaaferi, a lawyer challenging the ban, said, “The Sindh High Court (SHC) has given the government one week to withdraw the letter, failing which on the next date, they will pass appropriate orders.”

SHC Chief Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi has also disagreed with the decision upon hearing the multiple petitions of the suspension of the social media platform. “What are you achieving via shutting down trivial things… the world must laugh at us,” he said, referring to the Interior ministry, according to Geo News. 

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