By: Ch. Muhammad Natiq.
The Indian Charge d’Affaires (Cd’A) in Islamabad was called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today and a strong demarche was made on the Indian government’s blocking of access to the content of 80 accounts on Twitter including accounts of Pakistan’s diplomatic missions in Iran, Turkey, Egypt, UN-New York and the national broadcaster Radio Pakistan, by activating geo-blocking and censorship laws.
The Cd’A conveyed that these Indian actions were against the international standards, obligations, norms, and framework of the flow of information and reflected the alarming pace of shrinking space for pluralistic voices and curbing of fundamental freedoms in India.
It was noted that the new illegal practice employed by the Indian government of regulating the internet sphere with regard to diplomatic accounts, with a clear intent to stifle dissent stood completely against the rights to access to information and fundamental freedom of opinion or expression.
The government of India has been urged to immediately reverse its actions relating to the blocking of Pakistan’s diplomatic Missions’ Twitter accounts in India. India must also abide by the established international norms and standards as espoused by the United Nations and also ensure the protection of fundamental freedoms and respect for dissent.