The supreme court of Pakistan hinted at the YouTube Ban in Pakistan. During the hearing of the case of man, Shaukat Ali, accused of sectarian violence and crime. The judicial bench comprised of Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin and Justice Mushir Alam was hearing the case. Judicial Bench highlighted the unregulated and uncontrollable content on social media. Furthermore, Bench indicates the negative comments about Army, Judiciary, and Government on social media.
Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin said,
We are not against freedom of speech. People afford our salaries; they have the right to question our decisions and performance. But in spite of all these facts, the constitution provides us the right to privacy and confidentiality
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Further, he added, a family member of the judiciary comes under scrutiny on YouTube. He pointed out the decision which was discussed on the social media platforms and asked whether the PTA (Pakistan telecommunication Authority) and FIA (Federal Investigation Authority) took any action to control the social media platforms where judges are mocked and embarrassed.
PTA’s Official Argument
However, an official from the PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority) told the Judge that PTA has no control over the content. So, we can only report the objectionable content.
Justice Munir said,
YouTube is banned in many countries
Further, he added that
Whether anyone would dare post content against the America and European Union on the social media platforms
Justice Amin asked that how many people are prosecuted for this serious crime. However, social media is controlled and regulated by local authorities in many countries.
Further, he said,
People are becoming against the Army, judiciary and Government
So, the court sends notices to the foreign ministry of matter and attorney-general of Pakistan. It is worth mentioning that the digital space of Pakistan has been restricted and banned frequently. Furthermore, PTA and FIA keep a close eye on digital space to prevent electronic crimes. In addition to that digital network is monitored and regulated through the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016. However, the previous decade saw many bans on different social media platforms. Three year-long constant ban on YouTube is very famous for controlling the growth of digital content in the country.
Fawad Chauhdry Reacts
However, the Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Ch Fawad Hussain reacts severely to Supreme Court’s hint. He tweeted and targeted SC and PTA for such a silly decision. Further, he advised PTA and SC to stay away from formulating the moral policing and ban approach. He said,
Ban on these applications will hamper the technological growth of Pakistan and Pakistan will have to pay the price
This decision will be a barrier to the Digital Pakistan Dream and will push Pakistan back in technology race.