(Islamabad: 4th September, 2019): In its efforts to raise the issue of blocking of Twitter accounts, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has reported to Twitter administration a total of 333 handles suspended for posting tweets about Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir.
PTA, in addition to raising its concerns with Twitter administration about the biased approach towards Pakistani Twitter users in strong words, has also requested Pakistani social media users to report any Twitter account suspended on the pretext of posting pro-Kashmir content to PTA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In response, PTA received 333 such complaints which were sent to Twitter for restoration. However, only 67 accounts (20%) have so far been restored by Twitter. Twitter has not responded officially nor have given any reason of suspension of these accounts.
PTA is already putting in efforts to engage Twitter to ensure freedom of expression for social media users in Pakistan. In this context PTA has invited Twitter’s administration for a meeting in Pakistan or elsewhere to have meaningful discussions and devise a workable arrangement. However, Twitter has yet to respond.
It may also be added that under Prevention of Electronic Crime Act 2016, PTA is the sole body to block access to unlawful content on Internet and to take up with relevant platforms where blocking by PTA is not possible on technical grounds. PTA will keep taking up the matter with Twitter and urge them to discontinue their biased approach towards Pakistani users who are advocating rights of the oppressed people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Khurram Ali Mehran