The X Ban

Waqas Ahmed at The Express Tribune: Former (Pakistani) senator Farhatullah Babar (chief of PPP’s human rights cell) issued a statement on Thursday, referring to the admission by the interior ministry before the Sindh High Court (SHC) that it had blocked X on the advice of intelligence agencies. He described this admission, which came after a month of denial, as indicative of “a dangerous model of governance in which a security-paranoid establishment makes decisions without accountability and without regard for the economy, education, and democratic expression.” More here.

Editorial ‘Ex-cuses aplenty’ at Dawn: THE government finally seems to have acknowledged, albeit indirectly, that social media platform ‘X’ is indeed inaccessible in Pakistan. It has taken the authorities a little over a month to progress from plain denial to sheepish obfuscation. Questioned on the matter this Tuesday, Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi simply responded with an airy “we need to make better laws”. As justification, he cited a recent move in the US to clamp down on TikTok. It is deeply concerning that he thinks that US authorities penalising a platform, ostensibly for disseminating ‘too much’ pro-Palestine content, is a suitable example for Pakistan to follow. “Expression is fine, but making false allegations against people is wrong,” Mr Naqvi told reporters as he attempted to rationalise the decision. More here.