NO DECISION YET ON INTERNET SERVICES BAN DURING MUHARRAM: INTERIOR MINISTRY

Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram apps are seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021. — Reuters

Punjab sought suspension of social media platforms.Interior ministry advises against paying heed to rumours.Faithful hold processions across country in Muharram.ISLAMABAD: The federal government has not yet taken any decision to suspend internet services during the month of Muharram, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior said on Friday.The provincial governments had sought the suspension of six social media applications for around a week during Muharram — which is expected to start on July 8 — due to security concerns.In a statement today, the interior ministry spokesperson said no decision has been made on the provincial governments’ requests and advised against paying heed to rumours.In a statement today, the interior ministry spokesperson said no decision has been made on the provincial governments’ requests and advised against paying heed to rumours.The statement also clarified that no direction has been issued by the Prime Minister’s Office regarding suspending the internet during the holy month.“Neither any application of any provincial government has been accepted nor rejected,” the interior ministry added.The Punjab government had cited spread of hate material and misinformation as reasons behind the move, The News reported Friday.According to a Punjab Home Department letter, a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Cabinet on Law and Order was convened to review security and administrative arrangements for Muharram.In this meeting, it was decided to suspend social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, YouTube, TikTok and Instagram from Muharram 6 to 11 to prevent the dissemination of hate material and misinformation, aiming to avert sectarian violence.Faithful hold processions across the country in Muharram, while religious scholars address huge gatherings amid tight security, with thousands of law enforcers deployed to ensure the security during the month.

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