- Munisa Anwar
- BBC Urdu, Islamabad
Social media platform Twitter has suspended the official Twitter account of the Government of Pakistan in India @GovtofPakistan for legal reasons. This is the second such incident in the last few months.
The official Twitter account of the Government of Pakistan is currently inaccessible in India, although pages on other social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram are active and functional.
When Indian users try to access @GovtofPakistan Twitter account, a message appears – ‘Account exists’ This account has been banned.
It is further written that this account has been blocked in India after a legal request.
The Indian government censors Pakistani content on the pretext of violating local laws.
Speaking to the BBC, Abu Bakr Umar, who viewed Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s digital media account, said the Indian government was censoring Pakistani content under the guise of “violating its local laws”.
They said that @Government of Pakistan The content is public (i.e. everyone can see), “Residents of India can verify and decide for themselves about the content, but unfortunately they do not have access to this content”
Abubakar Umar has said that he will address this matter formally on Twitter.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry did not respond to BBC’s queries in this regard, nor has any statement been received from the ministry.
Note that this is not the first time that an account linked to the Government of Pakistan has been blocked in India.
This is not the first time
This account was also blocked in June but it was later reactivated and Indian users can view content from @Govtof Pakistan but now it is banned again.
In June this year, Twitter blocked several Pakistan-related accounts in India for legal reasons.
In protest, Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesperson tweeted the names of four blocked accounts in India. These accounts include Pakistan’s UN in New York. Also includes accounts of embassies and some embassies in other countries (such as Turkey, Iran, and Egypt).
Under which principle
Twitter said at the time, “It is necessary to suspend certain content in response to a valid legal request, as described in our ‘conducted policy’.”
Twitter did not specify under which specific Indian laws the action was taken.
However, past incidents show such actions Under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act 2000 done
This section of the Indian Information Technology Act allows the government to “deny access to the public in any way to prevent the incitement of any offense in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, its safety, security or public peace.”. gives.’
In June 2020, India banned China-based social media companies and apps under the same section of the law, even after the border dispute between India and China in Ladakh.
Lumin, a database that collects and analyzes legal complaints and requests to take down online content, reveals that in June 2022, the Indian government blocked several more Pakistan-related accounts in India, including the official Twitter account of the Pakistani government. ordered.
It includes the account of Mishal Malik, wife of Indian-administered Kashmir separatist leader Yasin Malik, in addition to several Pakistani news channels and journalists.
There has been a demand for a retaliatory attack in Pakistan
According to news agency ANI, in August, India blocked eight YouTube news channels linked to Pakistan, apart from the Facebook account. All of them were accused of posting ‘fake news and anti-India content’.
The Indian government has also blocked 100 YouTube channels, four Facebook pages, five Twitter accounts and three Instagram accounts for spreading hatred against India.
Pakistani users on social media want to even the score by giving a similar response in return. However, it is also well received on Indian social media.
What people are saying on social media
“We will soon become like North Korea,” wrote a user named Aran Thangaraj on Twitter.
While a user named Naved wrote, “This is the situation in a country that calls itself a great democracy.”
An Indian user living abroad wrote, “Whatever the stupid reasons behind this, this ban is only in India. We have access to this account abroad.”
Congratulating the Government of India, a user named Tilak wrote – This bold step will reduce inflation and unemployment in India.
At the same time, user Kautilya wrote, “It is very disturbing that many Indian citizens have stopped asking questions and they have stopped caring about the actions of the government. … They appreciate every action of this government. Democracy dies in such darkness. If people are not informed, it will be a totalitarian democracy.”
In a tweet posted by an account named Hindu First, it was written, “Government of Pakistan’s Twitter account in India has been shut down to prevent anti-national activities.”
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