Ban on TikTok lifted in Pakistan: Fawad Chaudhry

Web Desk

  • Fawad Chaudhry says Pakistan should be careful while taking decisions that may cause harm to the economic future of the country.
  • PHC allows lifting of TikTok ban but asks PTA to ensure immoral content is not uploaded.
  • DG PTA assures PHC that it will monitor all immoral and illegal things being uploaded on TikTok.

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Thursday said that Peshawar High Court (PHC) has lifted the ban on TikTok ordered by a single-member bench of the same court.

"Peshawar High Court has suspended the operation of single bench judgement, ban on TikTok has been lifted," tweeted the federal minister

The minister said Pakistan should be careful while taking decisions that may cause harm to the economic future of the country.

"We need a framework to encourage international companies to make Pakistan their investment hub," said the minister.

Read more: PTA directs service providers to ban TikTok

'TikTok appoints focal person'

During today's hearing, PHC CJ Qaiser Rashid Khan asked an official of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) what action the authority has taken to remove the “immoral content” on the platform.

The PTA DG, who was present in the court, said that they had taken up the issue with the TikTok’s management again and the company has hired a focal person on the issue.

“We will monitor all the immoral and illegal things being uploaded on TikTok,” said the DG PTA.

To this, the judge told the PTA that it should have a system that can differentiate between “good and bad”.

“When PTA take action [against immoral content], people will not upload such videos,” said Justice Qaiser.

The PTA official responded to this, saying they have talked to TikTok to block those who make such mistakes again and again.

The court then issued orders to unblock the app and directed the telecom regulator to work on stopping immoral content on the Chinese video-sharing app.

“Open TikTok but immoral content should not be uploaded,” said the court while issuing the orders. The court also adjourned the hearing till May 25 and asked the DG PTA to present a detailed report on the matter.

TikTok 'pleased' with lifting of ban

Following the PHC order, TikTok said they were pleased to see that the app has become available in Pakistan once again.

“We are pleased that TikTok is once again available to our community in Pakistan. This is a testament to TikTok's continued commitment to enforcing our community guidelines to promote a safe and positive community online,” said the Chinese owned app in a statement.

TitTok acknowledged the PTA for its “support and ongoing productive dialogue”. It also recognised the authority for their care of the “digital experience of Pakistani users”.

It added that actions taken by the PTA will go a long way to assuring a stable, enabling environment to allow TikTok to explore further investment in Pakistan.

Ban on TikTok

Last month, the PTA had directed the country's service providers to block users' access to video-sharing app TikTok — in line with the court's orders.

The PHC had ordered Pakistani authorities to immediately ban the video-sharing platform in the country.

"In respectful compliance to the orders of the Peshawar High Court, PTA has issued directions to the service providers to immediately block access to the TikTok App," the PTA said.

The orders were issued by PHC CJ, who was hearing a petition filed by a citizen seeking a ban on Tiktok.

Read more: Youth using TikTok like addiction, says PHC in detailed judgment

This was the second time that the widely used App was banned in Pakistan.

In October of last year, the PTA had blocked the Chinese-owned video-sharing app after the company "failed to fully comply" with its instructions for “development of an effective mechanism for proactive moderation of unlawful online content”.