SHC directs govt to restore social media platforms across country

SHC directs govt to restore social media platforms across country

SHC directs govt to restore social media platforms across country

SHC directs govt to restore social media platforms across country

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KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) issued a directive on Wednesday, instructing the federal government and the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) to reinstate the services of social media platforms, including X, formerly known as Twitter, throughout Pakistan.

This order came from a bench of the SHC, led by Chief Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi, in response to a petition challenging the recent “unconstitutional” internet shutdowns across the nation.

Additionally, the court demanded a report from the PTA regarding the suspension of internet services on election day and issued a notice to the federal government.

Despite efforts by internet watchdog groups to report disruptions starting on Saturday, the social media platform X, previously Twitter, remains inaccessible to Pakistani users. NetBlocks, an organization monitoring internet accessibility, confirmed on February 17th that a widespread disruption had impacted X in Pakistan, following nationwide protests allegedly sparked by election irregularities.

In the aftermath of the 2024 general elections in Pakistan, candidates supported by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) gained significant ground over mainstream political parties, particularly in the National and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assemblies, as results were announced.

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The announced results indicate that PTI-backed independent candidates secured 92 seats, with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) following closely with 79 seats, and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) winning 54 seats. Other parties such as MQM-P, JUI-F, PML-Q, IPP, and BNP secured a lesser number of seats.

Subsequent to the elections, both PML-N and PPP established committees to negotiate terms for the formation of the next federal government.

Finally, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have reached an agreement on establishing a government at the federal level, having settled on a “power-sharing formula” after days of discussions.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari announced during a joint press conference at Zardari House in Islamabad that both parties had amassed sufficient support to form the government.

He noted the failure of PTI-backed candidates and the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) to secure a simple majority for forming the government and expressed confidence that under the coalition, Shehbaz Sharif, the President of PML-N, would once again assume the role of Prime Minister, with hopes for addressing Pakistan’s challenges effectively.

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