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IHC lambasts PTA over new social media rules

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) came down hard on the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) over the new social media rules.

During the hearing, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah said that the PTA should take into account the objections raised by the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) regarding the social media rules. When the PTA lawyer started to give an example of India, the judge restrained him and said if India doing something wrong, does that give Pakistan the reason to do the same?

He asked who had proposed these new rules and which authority approved them,  The court said that if these rules discourage criticism, it will also discourage accountability. The IHC said no government or law and order is above criticism, adding that criticism should be encouraged and not discouraged.

The PBC lawyer said that some clauses of the rules give the impression that they are unconstitutional. The PTA lawyer replied that letters were written to both the PBC and Islamabad Bar Council for their suggestions.

The IHC has directed PTA to make sure that the rules do not contradict Articles 19 and 19A and adjourned the hearing till December 18.

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