February 10, 2021 – The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has approached Twitter regarding the blocking of Pakistani users’ accounts on the microblogging website on Tuesday. The press release shared by PTA states that the Authority received 369 complaints from the users about the suspension after they had tweeted about the Right of Self Determination of the people of Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJ&K).
The Authority, after conducting its analysis, reported 280 valid accounts to Twitter administration after they were “ostensibly suspended for posting in support of the rights of people of IOJ&K.”
The statement further mentions that PTA has alerted the Twitter administration that the blocking is not only the violation of Pakistani citizens’ fundamental rights, but also the violation of its own Community guidelines. It pointed out that the action by Twitter has been taken under the Indian influence.
The press release concluded stating, “Twitter has been asked to review its biased approach towards Pakistani users by unblocking accounts who are advocating rights of the oppressed people of IOJ&K.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan, while addressing a public gathering on Kashmir Solidarity Day on February 5, highlighted Kashmiris’ Right of Self Determination and said that Pakistan will allow people of Kashmir to choose between joining Pakistan and remaining independent. He said, “When the residents of Indian-occupied Kashmir as well as Azad Kashmir get the right to decide their future, and when the people of Kashmir will choose Pakistan InshAllah, then Pakistan will give Kashmiris the right to decide whether they want to become a part of Pakistan or remain independent.”
Hija is a Programs Manager at Media Matters for Democracy. She combines her experience in digital rights in Pakistan to lead digital rights and internet governance advocacy of MMfD. She tweets at @hijakamran