IHC summons interior secy on closure of ‘X’ service

ISLAMABAD  -  The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday sum­moned Interior Secretary in a petition challenging the closure of social media platform X (Twitter) in the country. A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Aamer Farooq conduct­ed hearing of the petition moved by Ehtisham Ab­basi against the closure of X which has remained largely restricted in Pakistan since February 17. Lawyers Sardar Masroof and Amna Ali appeared before the court on behalf of the petitioner.

During the hearing, the Interior Ministry’s joint secretary appeared before the IHC bench and in­formed the court that contents uploaded on the internet are a threat to the country’s national se­curity. The court asked if there was any written communication regarding the closure of X. He added that what is this method and what is this at­titude? He also said that you have appeared before the court without any file or report and asked how would you assist the court. He further said that ev­erything is closed and jammed.

The judge said to the joint secretary that he should give in writing what was the threat to the national security and not just make verbal state­ments in the court. He asked that show us the doc­uments and there will be no verbal conversation.

Justice Aamer said that his secretary would make a better report than this one. At this, the joint sec­retary told IHC CJ Farooq to look at the other page. At this, the judge asked if this was the joint secre­tary’s first appearance before the court.

The secretary told the court that the content up­loaded on the internet is a threat to the national se­curity. The court said that there must be evidence regarding the threat. Justice Aamer remarked that you closed X on the Intelligence Bureau’s report and there are no reasons written in it, only a re­port based on speculation. The IHC CJ asked the joint secretary to submit any other verdict by oth­er courts regarding this matter. Later, the court summoned the interior secretary to appear before the it on April 17 and deferred the proceedings.

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