ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi withdrew his resolution seeking a blanket ban on major social media platforms in the country to “save the young generation from their negative and devastating effects”.

The resolution, which became controversial even before coming to the house, recommended to the government to put a ban on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter) and YouTube.

It was widely criticised shortly after it emerged on the house agenda, by digital rights activists and journalists who said the move was aimed at further curbing freedom of expression in Pakistan. The development came at a time when the country was already facing disruption to the services of X following allegations of rigging in February 8 polls.

The resolution was supposed to be moved by PPP Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi, who was expelled by the party last month for remaining silent in a Senate session that passed a controversial resolution seeking to delay February 8 polls due to security concerns. However, the Senate Secretariat’s record shows that Mr Tangi is still a senator of PPP.

Senate passes resolution against massacre of Palestinians during aid delivery

Even after the withdrawal of the resolution, many members wanted to speak on it, but the chair disallowed.

Speaking on a point of public importance, Senator Saifullah Abro of PTI termed the resolution an attack on the youth and wondered how it was made part of the agenda. He said the attempt to suppress the voice of the youth had been made by a man who had supported the resolution proposing postponement of elections.

Palestinians’ massacre

Separately, the house unanimously passed a resolution showing serious concerns over brutal attack of Israeli army on “innocent and unarmed” Palestinians who had gathered to received aid, including food supplies and medicine.

“This House strongly recommends and urges international community to take action such that the siege of Gaza be lifted immediately and Muslims countries be allowed all access and cover for delivery of aid,” read the resolution, moved by all members of the Senate.

Speaking on the resolution, lawmakers suggested a ban on products manufactured by the Israeli companies. One of the Senators proposed a protest by the members of the house in front of the US embassy and the European Commission.

Published in Dawn, March 5th, 2024

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