Updated April 17th, 2024 at 20:38 IST

'Destructive Objectives': 7 Reasons Why Pakistan’s Interior Ministry Suspended ‘X' (Twitter)

The decision was made in the interest of upholding national security, maintaining public order & preserving the integrity of nation, the govt has contended.

Reported by: Kriti Dhingra
The decision was made in the interest of upholding national security, maintaining public order & preserving the integrity of nation, the govt has contended. | Image:Republic Digital

Karachi: Coming down heavily on the suspension of social media platform ‘X’ in Pakistan since February, the Sindh High Court on Wednesday directed the country's Interior Ministry to revoke its decision on the suspension of Elon Musk-owned platform within a week, Geo News reported.

“What are you (Interior Ministry) achieving via shutting down trivial things… The world must laugh at us”, HC Chief Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi reportedly said while hearing multiple petitions on the suspension of 'X'.


Here are the reasons that the Pakistani government has cited for the indefinite blockade:

  • Last month, Pakistan's Ministry of Interior and intelligence agencies informed the Islamabad High Court that "content uploaded on the internet" is a "threat" to the country's national security, The News International reported.
  • The “failure of Twitter/X to adhere to the lawful directives of the government of Pakistan and address concerns regarding the misuse of its platform necessitated the imposition of a ban”, Pakistani media outlet Dawn cited the country's interior ministry as saying in a report submitted to the court. 
  • The report submitted to the court, according to Dawn, further detailed the reasons behind the suspension, stating the interior ministry had on February 17 “asked for blocking of X (Twitter) immediately till further orders” based on the reports of intelligence agencies.
  • The decision was made in the interest of upholding national security, maintaining public order, and preserving the integrity of our nation, the ministry had contended in the report, while stressing that the suspension orders were given after careful consideration of “various confidential reports received from intelligence and security agencies of Pakistan”.
  • The Pakistani government officials further claimed that “hostile elements operating on Twitter/X have nefarious intentions to create an environment of chaos and instability, with the ultimate goal of destabilising the country and plunging it into some form of anarchy”, Dawn reported. According to Pakistan's Ministry of Interior and intelligence agencies, the ban – already in force – serves as "a necessary step to disrupt the activities of these elements and prevent them from achieving their destructive objectives,” the report said.
  • Underlining that ‘X’ was “neither registered in Pakistan nor had it signed any agreement to abide by local laws”, the ministry, according to the report accessed by Dawn, asserted that the platform’s “failure to establish a legal presence or engage in meaningful cooperation with Pakistani authorities underscores the need for regulatory measures to ensure accountability and adherence to national laws”.
  • “The ban on ‘X’ serves as a necessary step to address this regulatory vacuum and compel the platform to respect the sovereignty and legal jurisdiction of Pakistan", the interior ministry had reportedly said.
  • According to Dawn, the Pakistani government also claimed that the Musk-owned platform had not complied with requests from the country's authorities after the Cyber Crime Wing [a unit of Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency] had forwarded several requests through the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to take “significant action to block accounts involved in a defamatory campaign against the honourable chief justice of Pakistan”.

Highlighting that the Cyber Crime Wing had “initiated several FIRs against hundreds of Twitter accounts”, the ministry stressed: “lack of cooperation from ‘X’ authorities" in ensuring that there was no violation of the country's laws further "justifies the need for regulatory measures, including the temporary ban”.

The government of Pakistan has no alternative but to temporarily block access/suspend the operation of this platform within Pakistan, Dawn quoted the interior ministry as saying.


Meanwhile, during the hearing today, Sindh High Court Chief Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi said the “law does not empower the Interior Ministry to act on reports forwarded by intelligence agencies”, Geo News reported.

"In hindsight [it appears that] no justification was given to suspend X," justice Abbasi reportedly said, adding that the court will issue its orders if the Interior Ministry does not withdraw the directives issued on February 17.


The court adjourned the hearing till May 9, directing the Ministry of Interior to present its reasons behind the temporary blockade of the social media platform on the said date, the Geo News report stated.


Published April 17th, 2024 at 17:48 IST