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Government employees barred from using social media platforms in Pakistan

Mahwash Ajaz/Dubai
Filed on August 30, 2021

(AFP file)

The government also directed the organisations to frequently monitor their platforms to remove offensive, inappropriate and objectionable remarks.


A circular is being issued to various departments barring government employees from airing their opinions on social media and other platforms.

“No government servant can participate in any media platform except with the express permission of the government,” stated a circular issued by the Government of Pakistan seen by Khaleej Times. It also stated that government employees cannot make any statement of fact or opinion which has the potential to “embarrass” the government.

The circular observed that government staff have been airing their views on social media on a host of issues which do not “conform to the required standards of official conduct”.

It stated that the instructions are applicable to not just television or public fora but also to social media and print media.

While it prohibits government employees from spreading information, “especially pertaining to government matters that are misleading and unauthentic”, it also stated that these instructions are not meant to discourage individuals and government organisations from using social media for any “constructive and positive use” to engage with the public to solicit ‘feedback’ on a government policy, suggestions for improvement in service delivery and resolution of complaints.

The government also directed the organisations to frequently monitor their platforms to remove offensive, inappropriate and objectionable remarks.

In case of misconduct, it called for disciplinary action against the individual where the ‘admin’ of a group platform will also be held liable.

The circular was signed by Join Secretary of Discipline, Dr Muhammad Shoaib Akbar.

In another circular, Karachi airport staff were told not to make videos and photographs in restricted areas of the airport. The circular, issued by Tariq Ahmed Siddiqui, Joint Director Vigilance at Jinnah International Airport, stated that photography or videography in the lounge/apron areas of the airport are a security risk.

If anyone is found using photography or videography in the restricted areas, their cellphone would be confiscated and their Airport Entry Pass (AEP) would also be cancelled, the circular warned.





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