TikTok ban: Fawad says 'judicial activism' has cost Pakistan billions of dollars

Published June 30, 2021
In this file photo, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry addresses a press conference in Islamabad. — DawnNewsTV/File
In this file photo, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry addresses a press conference in Islamabad. — DawnNewsTV/File

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Wednesday stressed the need for judicial reforms and slammed recent high court decisions banning the social media app TikTok as well as setting aside the appointment of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) president.

In a tweet, the minister said the country would never be able to come out of an economic crisis unless judicial reforms were implemented.

"My head is spinning after reading about the decision to ban TikTok and remove the NBP president. What are our courts doing? The country has already suffered losses worth billons of dollars due to judicial activism," the minister said.

SHC bans TikTok

Earlier this week, the Sindh High Court had ordered the Pakistan Telecommu­nica­tion Authority (PTA) to suspend access to TikTok in the country until July 8.

The court in its order stated that TikTok had not abided by "the constant undertakings and assurances" given by it before various courts and the PTA to block accounts spreading vulgarity.

In March, the Peshawar High Court had imposed a similar ban on the video-​sharing application. The ban was later lifted in April.

In October last year, the PTA had banned TikTok for the first time over complaints regarding indecent and immoral content.

The ban was lifted 10 days later "after assurance from management that they will block all accounts repeatedly involved in spreading obscenity and immorality".

IHC sets asides appointments

Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court on Tuesday set aside the appointments of NBP President Arif Usmani and chairman of its board of directors, Zubair Soomro.

According to the petitioner, the appointments had been made in violation of the constitutional rights that ensured equal opportunity for every citizen.

The bench observed that it was necessary to issue an advertisement for the appointment of the board chairman under the law.

The IHC bench through a short order accepted the petition and said the appointments of NBP’s president and chairman of BoD had been made in violation of the law.

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