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Interior Minister Seeks ‘Better Laws’ to Regulate Social Media

Mohsin Naqvi cites example of U.S. ban on TikTok to justify need to evolve laws that differentiate between freedom of expression, fake news

by Staff Report

File photo of Mohsin Naqvi

Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi on Tuesday called for “better laws” to regulate social media platforms, stressing freedom of expression did not permit the sharing of fake news.

“We need to make better laws,” he told journalists in Lahore when questioned on whether the Interior Ministry was responsible for restricted access to X, formerly Twitter, which has been available only sporadically since Feb. 17. “Expression is fine, but making false allegations against people is wrong—it’s happening and needs to be fixed,” he said, stressing there was a need to re-examine laws and correct misuse.

“Even in a country like the U.S., the ban has been imposed on TikTok after such things,” he said. “We also need to review our laws to regulate social media,” he said, referring to smear campaigns targeting the judiciary and armed forces on social media.

The ongoing partial blockage of X has attracted criticism from rights groups and foreign states, as well as the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which has demanded the platform’s immediate restoration. Amidst calls for its restoration, however, confusion persists over who is responsible for the “ban”; why it has yet to be reversed; and why it was imposed in the first place.

During his media talk, Naqvi also vowed that the government would not compromise on the issue of terrorism and security. “Terrorists will be given the answer in their language,” he warned, adding the government would also continue a repatriation policy aimed at ousting all undocumented migrants. Authorities have repeatedly claimed that much of the terrorism in Pakistan has the involvement of Afghan nationals who enter Pakistan without valid documents.

To a question, the interior minister said he would contest the upcoming Senate elections as an independent candidate from Punjab.

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