Pakistan govt’s Twitter account withheld in India, again

ISLAMABAD: The official Twitter account of Pakistan government has been withheld in India for a second time in recent months, according to the Indian media.

The micro-blogging site in a notice on Saturday, only visible to Indian users, said the Twitter handle (@GovtofPakistan) has been withheld in response to a ‘legal demand’.

The account was reactivated a few months ago after it was suspended on the complaint of New Delhi in June.

At that time, Pakistan had urged the social media website to restore its official accounts banned in India, terming the move by New Delhi as alarming and in violation of international norms.

Several Twitter accounts, including that of Pakistani missions aboard, were withheld in India at New Delhi’s request.

The Foreign Office had confirmed that the official Twitter handles of Pakistani missions in Iran, Egypt, Turkey and the United Nations were banned in India. In addition to these bans, the official Twitter handle of state-run Radio Pakistan was also withheld in India.

Several other social media accounts, including Indian journalists critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi government’s policies, were also banned earlier this year.

Premier Modi’s administration has been accused of stifling criticism, with rights groups sounding the alarm over growing curbs on freedom of speech in the world’s largest democracy.

Last year, the government ordered Twitter to take down tweets by the US think-tank Freedom House that had discussed the detention of Indian citizens for questioning government policy on social media, and the use of internet shutdowns to stifle dissent.

The tweets were no longer available in India as of this week, along with several accounts representing Pakistan’s government that had been flagged by India.

Twitter said in a statement to AFP that the removals were “limited to the specific jurisdiction/country where the content is determined to be illegal”.

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