Following earlier assertions that social media giant X, formerly known as Twitter, was accessible to online users, Information Minister Atta Tarar has now conceded that the popular social networking app remains suspended in the country.

During an interview with a local news channel on Monday, Tarar acknowledged, “Twitter was already banned when we assumed power, and there is no official notification regarding its status.” Emphasising the necessity for a charter delineating “do’s and don’ts,” the information minister advocated for discussions among political parties to establish “red lines” that should not be crossed on the platform.

Expressing his dismay over allegations against women, abuses, misconduct, and smear campaigns targeting the sacrifices of martyrs on social media, Tarar highlighted the need for accountability.

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It is noteworthy that Tarar dismissed inquiries about X’s suspension in Pakistan on March 13, stating, “Twitter [X] is operational. Tweets continue to be posted on Twitter as well. If there is an official notification mandating its closure, then it should be presented for discussion.”

The continued unavailability of X, a vital source of information, to millions of users in Pakistan for over a month now, since its suspension preceding the February 8 general election, raises concerns. Despite various court orders urging the restoration of uninterrupted access, users have faced sporadic disruptions and obstacles.

Furthermore, on March 13, human rights activists and civil society organisations issued a joint statement expressing deep concern over the escalating instances of internet shutdowns and social media platform blocks, advocating for the immediate reinstatement of X.