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Govt. to Review Social Media Rules

The government will review the social media regulations that were introduced last year, said Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan.

He informed the Islamabad High Court (IHC) of the government decision as it was hearing a petition filed by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) against social media rules introduced by the government in November. 

AGP Khalid Jawed Khan says “a review will be held after consultation with stakeholders and petitioners.”

Justice Minallah during the hearing, observed that Article 19 and 19-A of the Constitution are related to fundamental rights.

“It seems that the stakeholders were not consulted in formulating the social media rules,” Justice added.

Replying to the court’s concern, the attorney general added that the petitioners will be consulted and shutting down a social platform was not the right solution.

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He also asked the court to grant the government some time so that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and relevant stakeholders could review the rules together.

Earlier in November, The government in terms of new rules introduced the Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content Rules 2020 under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016.

However, the new rules were immediately rejected by many stakeholders such as the Internet Service Providers of Pakistan (ISPAK), and were received wide criticism and were termed by the stakeholders as being “draconian”.

Saman Siddiqui

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