KARACHI: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) has rejected the government’s justification of national security threats as the reason for banning social media platform X.

The reaction came a day after the Ministry of Interior defended the months-long ban on X on the grounds that it posed a “threat to peace and national security”.

The PPF, in its statement on Tuesday, said even if the government’s concerns regarding national security and public safety were valid, “they do not justify the complete closure of the platform without any clear timeline or process for when such a ban could be lifted”.

It also called on the authorities to hold meaningful engagements with stakeholders, including civil society organisations, before taking any decision to ban the platform, which affects millions of Pakistani users.

“We also urge X to engage with Pakistani stakeholders, including the civil society and state authori­ties, to address their concerns,” the statement added.

Separately, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Presi­dent Afzal Butt and Sec­retary General Arshad Ansari welcomed the Kenyan High Court’s decision to award compensation to the family of Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif, who was murdered by police near Nairobi in Oct 2022.

“While no amount of compensation can alleviate the suffering of Arshad Sharif’s family and his countless followers, this verdict brings some solace and justice,” they said in a joint statement.

Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2024

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