Human Rights

X Unreachable for Four Days in Pakistan

The social media giant X, formerly known as Twitter, remains inaccessible to thousands of users across Pakistan, with the government yet to disclose the reason behind the unannounced shutdown since Saturday.

Despite Pakistan’s claim of being one of the top countries in terms of internet usage, the nation grapples with internet availability issues, ranking lower compared to its counterparts. Authorities are reported to intermittently disrupt access to social media platforms.

Ahead of the general elections on February 8, users faced difficulties accessing various social media sites, with authorities attributing the issue to technical errors. However, internet shutdowns were implemented on polling day, purportedly to prevent terrorist activities, as stated by the caretaker government. Subsequently, there were recurring disruptions in accessing X after the elections.

Internet shutdowns directly contravene constitutionally guaranteed rights such as freedom of information (Article 19-A), freedom of speech (Article 19), and freedom of association (Article 17). In a February 2018 ruling, the Islamabad High Court deemed internet shutdowns to be in violation of fundamental rights and the constitution.

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