No social media platform to be shut: minister

Published November 6, 2020
Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Aminul Haque has said that he will never support closure of any social media platform. — APP/File
Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Aminul Haque has said that he will never support closure of any social media platform. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunications Syed Aminul Haq said on Thursday that he would never support closure of any social media platform, but no relaxation could be allowed on matters of national security.

Presiding over a meeting of the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Information Technology and Telecom, he said temporary suspension of TikTok application was not a solution to the problem, but the move was aimed at bringing the social media apps within rules and regulations of the country.

“It is important to move in the right direction and we are working hard along those lines. Not only on social media but also on any media platform, propaganda and insults against national security institutions cannot be tolerated,” he said.

The minister said that social media rules had been approved by the cabinet after which a formal notification had been issued by the IT ministry.

Amin says everyone must abide by rules on national security, hate speech and immoral data

“We have maintained our position in principle everywhere that Pakistan is a staunch supporter of any innovation and business development in the field of construction and information technology. Our policies have huge incentives for foreign investors. We are also providing facilities and opening up vast Pakistani markets for huge profits. However, everyone will have to abide by rules of Pakistan on national security, hate speech and immoral data,” he said.

Mr Haq clarified that closure of the head office of Jazz network on tax matters by the Federal Board of Revenue a few days ago was not a desirable act and expressed concern over the issue.

The minister said that instead of sealing the office of the company, another route could have been adopted and the FBR action raised concerns among companies working in the field of networking in the country.

During the meeting, the participants were apprised of the positive discussion held with the Sindh chief minister about reduction in sales tax on IT products in the province.

“I am satisfied with the ongoing and future plans for installation of mobile network towers and expansion of mobile phone connections through fibre optics and improvement and provision of broadband services,” the minister said.

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2020

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