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Tuesday April 23, 2024

Senate to take up resolution seeking ban on social media sites

PPP says Tangi shouldn't be using party name as his basic membership has been canceled

By Nausheen Yusuf
March 02, 2024
This picture collage shows Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook logos on mobile phones. — AFP/File
This picture collage shows Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook logos on mobile phones. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Senate is set to take up a resolution seeking a ban on mainstream social media sites in the light of possible "misuse" against the country and its armed forces, during its meeting scheduled for March 4

The resolution, moved by Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Senator Bahramand Tangi, calls for bans on social sites, including Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter — now X, and YouTube, to "save the young generation from their negative and devastating effects”.

"Cognizant of the fact that social media platforms are adversely affecting the young generation in the country; Acknowledging the fact that these platforms are being used for promotion of norms against our religion and culture, creating hatred amongst the people on the grounds of language and religion," the resolution read.

The resolution of Tangi, whose tenure as senator ends on March 11, stated that there were concerns about the use of social media platforms against the interests of the country "through negative and malicious propaganda against the armed forces of Pakistan."

The resolution, which will be non-binding even if passed, further stated that these platforms were being used for vested interests in spreading fake news about various issues and trying to "create and promote fake leadership in the country to hoodwink the young generation."

In response, PPP Secretary General Nayyar Bukhari said that his party had nothing to do with the resolution, claiming that Tangi was not a member of the PPP.

Bukhari also recalled that the senator was slapped with a show-cause notice for deviating from party policy last month, but he failed to furnish an explanation before the party.

The PPP leader said the party’s Charsadda president had canceled the basic-membership of Tangi, therefore, he shouldn’t be using the party’s name anymore.

It may be noted that the PPP had reportedly terminated Senator Tangi's basic membership of the party for violating the party discipline and not responding to a show-cause notice issued to him over his silence on a resolution seeking a delay in the February 8 polls.

Addressing a press conference, PPP district president Naeem Khan Umarzai along with other party activists said that Senator Bahramand Tangi had violated the party narrative during the recent session of Senate.

He said Bahramand Tangi was silent over the resolution by independent Senator Dilawar Khan calling for the postponement of general elections.

The move comes as X is already inaccessible to Pakistanis and in the lead-up to the elections and during the polling day, internet services were shut down and social media sites could not be accessed.

Digital rights activists have slammed the authorities’ moves to disrupt the connectivity and called for transparency as the weeks-long X inaccessibility is still unanswered.