Pakistan Blocks Elon Musk’s Social Media Platform X Over Security Concerns

Pakistan's interior ministry confirms blocking Elon Musk's social media platform X, citing national security concerns during the February national election period.

  • Pakistan’s interior ministry confirms blocking Elon Musk’s social media platform X, citing national security concerns during the February national election period.
  • The ministry highlights X’s alleged failure to comply with lawful directives and address misuse concerns as reasons for the blockade.
  • Despite attempts to engage with X, the platform reportedly showed reluctance in resolving issues, prompting the temporary ban.

Pakistan’s interior ministry has officially acknowledged the blockade of Elon Musk’s social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, during February’s national election period. The ministry cited national security concerns as the primary motivation for the move, disclosing its stance in a written submission to the Islamabad High Court. Reports of access issues to X had circulated among Pakistani users since mid-February, but the government had remained silent until now.

The interior ministry’s submission highlighted X’s purported failure to comply with lawful directives from the Pakistani government and address concerns regarding platform misuse. This failure, along with the platform’s reluctance to resolve issues raised, led to the imposition of the ban, according to the ministry’s statement obtained by Reuters. Notably, the timing of the blockade coincided with Pakistan’s national election, prompting speculation about its motives amidst allegations of rigging and censorship concerns. Despite the ban, many government officials, including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, have reportedly used virtual private network (VPN) software to bypass restrictions on X. However, the ministry’s decision was informed by confidential reports from intelligence and security agencies, which highlighted the presence of “hostile elements” on the platform aiming to disrupt stability in the country.