US says social media laws could be setback for Pakistan’s digital economy
Monitoring Report
WASHINGTON: US top diplomat for South Asia Alice Wells has expressed concerns over the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s new social media policy, saying “new restrictions could be a setback to freedom of expression and development of digital economy”.
“Unfortunate if Pakistan discourages foreign investors & stifles domestic innovation in such a dynamic sector. Encourage discussion w/[with] stakeholders,” said Wells in a tweet from her official handle on Tuesday.
The US diplomat’s statement comes a day after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had issued notice to the federation, and law, information and technology ministries in a petition challenging social media policy.
The petitioner’s counsel Jahangir Khan Jadoon maintained that the Citizens Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules, 2020 violated Article 19 and 19 (a) of the Constitution. He termed it an attempt by the government to stifle dissent and free speech.