Social media platforms should respect Pakistan’s laws: PTA

Published September 14, 2021
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority chairman retired Maj Gen Amir Azeem Bajwa on Monday said that social media giants would not withdraw from Pakistan because the country is among top 10 markets of the world and continues to grow at a fast pace. — Reuters/File
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority chairman retired Maj Gen Amir Azeem Bajwa on Monday said that social media giants would not withdraw from Pakistan because the country is among top 10 markets of the world and continues to grow at a fast pace. — Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) chairman retired Maj Gen Amir Azeem Bajwa on Monday said that social media giants would not withdraw from Pakistan because the country is among top 10 markets of the world and continues to grow at a fast pace.

“We want to see this market grow for the benefit of all, but social media companies should also respect our laws,” the PTA chairman said while briefing the media on the performance of the telecom sector regulator.

The media was informed that the PTA is finding it difficult to regulate content because all popular social media platforms are based outside Pakistan.

Presentations were given by the heads of various PTA’s divisions. The PTA officials said that in response to their concerns about blasphemous, sectarian, immoral and defamatory content, the global social media platforms were reluctant to abide by the Pakistani law and norms of its society. Therefore, in majority of cases Pakistan’s complaints were not entertained, they added.

The journalists were informed that response from social media platforms is usually in accordance with their own community guidelines and not in compliance with the laws of Pakistan.

As per the law, the PTA has a responsibility to protect citizens from online harm in accordance with the local laws and societal norms.

The PTA chairman was asked about issues related to the quality of telecom services in the country.

The media was informed that the PTA’s Complaint Management System was launched in 2010 and it was upgraded in 2020. Its primary focus is to facilitate telecom consumers to lodge complaints, and to process and address consumers’ grievances.

From November 2018 to September 2021, 480,865 public complaints have been received by the PTA and 238,656 of them have been resolved.

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2021

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