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    “Pakistan Prepares for Social Media Shutdown During Muharram, Awaits PM’s Approval”


    Pakistan Considers Total Ban on Social Media During Muharram: PM's Decision Awaited

    Pakistan is contemplating a complete ban on social media platforms including YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok during the upcoming Muharram festival. The decision awaits approval from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, amid concerns over the spread of hate material and misinformation that could potentially fuel sectarian violence.

    Muharram holds significant religious importance for Shia Muslims, who commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the prophet of Islam. The festival involves large gatherings and processions, which have traditionally been a target for security threats and sectarian violence, particularly from extremist Sunni groups.

    The Punjab government, citing the need to control hate material and ensure public safety, has requested the federal government to suspend social media services from July 6 to 11. This move is part of broader security measures typically implemented during Muharram to prevent acts of terrorism and maintain public order.

    The Ministry of Interior, following a meeting, has deferred a decision on the Punjab government’s request. The statement clarified that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will have the final say on whether to implement the social media ban, indicating that similar requests from other provinces are also under consideration.

    Muharram is expected to commence based on the sighting of the moon, either on Sunday or Monday. Concurrently, clerical authorities responsible for moon sighting will convene to determine the official start of the festival.

    Pakistan has a history of temporarily suspending internet and social media services during sensitive periods like Muharram to prevent the spread of provocative content and facilitate security operations. The outcome of Prime Minister Sharif’s decision will significantly impact communication and social media access during this religiously significant period.

    Sources By Agencies

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