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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Atta Tarar receives backlash for denying ban on X in Pakistan

This interesting interaction was telecasted live on all the news channels in Pakistan. However, several media outlets in Pakistan have denied the claims made by Atta Tarar. 

Federal Information Minister Atta Tarar is receiving backlash on social media for claiming that social media application X is not accessible in Pakistan. In his media interaction, Tarar claimed that X is accessible in Pakistan without restriction.

Atta Tarar claimed on March 13th, 2024, dismissed the question thrown by a journalist asking on the covert and unannounced ban on X in Pakistan. “Twitter [X] is working,” the minister claimed, “Tweets are being posted on Twitter too. If there is a [official] notification calling for the closure of [Twitter] then you can show it to me. We can discuss it.”

This interesting interaction was telecasted live on all the news channels in Pakistan. However, several media outlets in Pakistan have denied the claims made by Atta Tarar.

Geo News quoted independent observers who confirmed that X has been blocked in Pakistan since February 17th, 2024.

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According to the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) based in Rome, Twitter has been inaccessible in Pakistan across various networks since February 17th. Elizaveta Yachmeneva, the community coordinator at OONI, stated that their recent measurements confirm ongoing restrictions on Twitter for Pakistani users, and access has not been restored as of now.

Several X users in Pakistan have expressed disappointment over the ban on the application in the country for the past four days. X is facing recurrent bans in the wake of the extreme criticism pouring in on the platform against the government. Criticism against the government has worsened since the February 8th elections which are marred by allegations of massive rigging.

 

Pakistani X users are now turning to VPNs to run the application. With government officials also using X through VPNs, netizens ask about the rationale behind banning the application.

On the other hand, with the recurrent ban on X, social media users are asking how will government persuade the global tech companies to invest in Pakistan. Disruptions in internet and cellular services are also in Pakistan. Mobile networks were shut down across Pakistan on election day.