Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry has criticised the Sindh High Court’s (SHC) verdict banning TikTok across Pakistan till July 8, terming it “judicial activism”.
The SHC on Monday issued an order to suspend TikTok across Pakistan till July 8. This decision came nearly three months after the country had lifted a ban imposed on it.
The minister took to Twitter and warned of the consequences Pakistan will face in case it did not carry out judicial reforms. “Pakistan will never come out of its economic crisis if judicial reforms are not undertaken.”
“I’m baffled after reading yesterday’s verdicts on suspension of TikTok and the removal of the NBP president, and can’t help but wonder: what are our courts doing?” asked the information minister.
He further said that Pakistan, already, was suffering from losses worth billions of dollars due to “judicial activism”.
The Sindh High Court (SHC) has banned the popular social media application TikTok that has about 33 million users in Pakistan.
The SHC’s ruling came during a hearing, where the court issued a notice to the attorney general of Pakistan and directed him to follow the orders and get the app banned.
This is not the first time the app has been banned in Pakistan. The app was first banned by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) over “immoral and indecent” content.
“Keeping in view the complaints and nature of the content being consistently posted on TikTok, PTA issued a final notice to the application,” PTA statement said. “However, the application failed to fully comply with the instructions. Therefore, directions were issued for blocking of TikTok application in the country,” read a notification issued on October 9, 2020.
“TikTok has been informed that the authority is open for engagement and will review its decision subject to a satisfactory mechanism by TikTok to moderate unlawful content,” PTA statement stated.
Later in March 2021, the app was banned again as the Peshawar High Court (PHC) ordered authorities to immediately ban video-sharing social app TikTok over sharing of ‘immoral content.’
The orders were issued by PHC Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan, who was hearing a petition filed by a citizen seeking a ban on TikTok. He said that the ban not be removed till all objectionable content is removed.