Pakistan government to regulate social media

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Pakistan’s Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Thursday that the government wanted to regulate social media in the country.

“This [regulating social media] will not be possible until we have a relationship with international giants like Google and Facebook,” Chaudhry said while addressing a seminar on media.

The information minister spoke on too much information leading to an increase in conflict, adding that this issue was not unique to Pakistan.

Fawad Chaudhry further said there were three different regulatory bodies regulating the media in Pakistan. “We are trying to merge them and make one authority which will coordinate with international bodies. In the future domestic regulation will be irrelevant and international regulation relevant.”

Chaudhry also said there was a need for the media industry to revise the existing business model.

Pakistani government has always been strict about the free use of social media and Freedom of expression in Pakistan has continued to face challenges in the past years.

In past years many cases of arrests and threats to the activists, freethinkers on social media, journalists and rights activists have been reported in all parts of the country.

Earlier this year a report published by Freedom Network, a Pakistani media watchdog organization, The report, Press Freedom Barometer 2018, says that more than 150 violations against journalists and media groups in the country.

The 16-page report’s violations include officially enforced censorship, written or verbal threats, killings, harassment, arrests, abductions, illegal confinements and physical assaults, conducted by state and nonstate actors and political and religious parties.

“At least 157 cases of attacks and violations were documented in Pakistan between May 1, 2017, and April 1, 2018, across all four provinces.