Citizen petitions IHC against ban on govt officials’ social media accounts

ISLAMABAD: A petition has been filed in the Islamabad High Court against an interior ministry notification banning social media accounts belonging to senior capital administration officials.

The petition was filed by a citizen, Mohammad Awais, on Tuesday. It asked for the notification, which was sent to the heads of the ministry’s 22 subordinate organisations across the country, to be set aside.

Just hours after the petition was filed and news of it was aired on electronic media, the Islamabad deputy commissioner stated on his official Twitter account that he had been “directed to resume online interaction with the citizens of Islamabad to facilitate complaint redressal, disseminate information, raise awareness [and] solicit feedback from public to improve governance.”

The petition cited the ministries of interior and law and justice, as well as the interior secretary, as respondents. It stated: “While issuing the above said notification respondents also deleted the social media accounts of the government officers including DC Islamabad, which is a clear violation of the Article 19 (Freedom of Expression) of the constitution of Pakistan.”