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Pakistan's information minister takes a U-turn on X ban

Admits social media platform was banned before new government assumed charge

12:15 AM | 19 Mar, 2024
Information minister Ataullah Tarar
Source: X

Almost a month after Pakistani authorities slammed a ban on X without any official announcement, Information Minister Attaullah Tarar has finally acknowledged that a ban on the social media platform was in place when the new government assumed power.

Speaking during an interview, Tarar admitted there was no official notification for the ban.

Pakistani authorities disrupted access to X on February 17, when former Rawal­pindi commissioner Liaquat Chattha accused the chief election commissioner and chief justice of Pakistan of involvement in vote rigging in the the February 8 general elections.

Fearing a strong backlash from the masses to any attempts to steal people's mandate, Pakistani authorities had banned X during the general elections and shut down the internet as well as telecom services across the country on February 8.

Now Tarar has taken a U-turn on his previous remarks as he pushed back last week against the disruption and claimed that X was still working in Pakistan. He said that those asking questions about a ban on X should present a notification for the ban.

Contradicting his own statement on Monday, Tarar said, “Twitter was already banned when we came into power. There is no official notification for it but everyone can see that its signal and frequency are not working as normal and it is being used through VPN. This is correct.”

Tarar said there should be "red lines that should not be crossed”. He suggested that political parties should discuss issues such as misogynistic abuse, cursing and mockery of martyrs. “I think there is a need for a charter and it will be a good thing if it happens.”

When asked about the state of press freedom in Pakistan, he said: “I am a political activist at the ground level and have always been present with you. I would want that I fully perform my role regarding freedom of expression and journalism.”

Answering a question about the Punjab government’s plans to bring a law to tackle “fake news”, Tarar said it would be better for political parties to decide matters between themselves on tackling the issue of “fake news” instead of the state sorting out the matter.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Currency Rates in Pakistan Today - Pak Rupee to US Dollar, Euro, Dirham, Riyal 24 May 2024

Pakistani currency rates against US Dollar and other currencies on May 24, 2024 (Friday) in open market.

USD to PKR rate today

US dollar was being quoted at 277.15 for buying and 280.15 for selling.

Euro moved down to 297 for buying and 300 for selling while British Pound rate is 349.5 for buying, and 353 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.2 and Saudi Riyal came down to 73.4.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 24 May 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 08:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 277.15 280.15
Euro EUR 297 300
UK Pound Sterling GBP 349.5 353
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.2 75.85
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.4 74.15
Australian Dollar AUD 183 184.8
Bahrain Dinar BHD 740.75 748.75
Canadian Dollar CAD 203 205
China Yuan CNY 38.47 38.87
Danish Krone DKK 40.52 40.92
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.68 36.03
Indian Rupee INR 3.35 3.46
Japanese Yen JPY 1.91 1.99
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 907.57 916.57
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 59.39 59.99
New Zealand Dollar NZD 170.03 172.03
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.92 26.22
Omani Riyal OMR 723.64 731.64
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 76.42 77.12
Singapore Dollar SGD 203 205
Swedish Korona SEK 26.02 26.32
Swiss Franc CHF 304.75 307.25
Thai Bhat THB 7.67 7.82

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