Science and Technology minister calls for greater care when taking decisions that may affect Pakistan’s economic future
The Peshawar High Court on Thursday directed the government to end a ban on video-streaming platform TikTok, adding that it should be ensured that no “immoral content” is uploaded on it.
At the commencement of today’s proceedings, PHC Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan asked the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to explain what actions had been taken thus far to remove objectionable content from TikTok. In response, the regulatory body submitted that it had raised the issue with the management of TikTok, which had hired a focal person to resolve any issues related to the uploading of immoral and illegal content on the platform.
The court subsequently allowed the ban to be lifted, stressing that it was the government’s responsibility to ensure no “immoral” content was available for viewing within Pakistan.
In a posting on Twitter, federal Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry hailed the decision and urged authorities to exercise great care when delivering decisions on matters that could pose a threat to Pakistan’s economy.
“Peshawar High Court has suspended the operation of single bench judgment [and] ban on TikTok has been lifted,” he wrote. “My submission is let’s be very careful while taking decisions that may affect economic future of Pakistan. We need a framework to encourage international companies so to make Pakistan their investment hub,” he added.
A single-member bench of the PHC had ordered a two-week ban on TikTok on March 12 while hearing a petition filed by around 40 citizens contending that the platform was spreading “immorality” among the country’s youth.
In its order, the court had directed the PTA to block the app “until and unless some mechanism is devised to filter the material which is immoral and indecent and goes against our norms and ethics.” In response, TikTok had maintained that it has robust community guidelines was constantly monitoring content to ensure it was in line with the laws and norms of the country.