Nisar directs PTA to prepare SOPs to check social media misuse

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APP85-24 ISLAMABAD: May 24 - Interior Minister, Ch. Nisar Ali Khan chairing a high level meeting at Interior Ministry. APP

ISLAMABAD, May 24 (APP): Minister for Interior, Chaudhry Nisar
Ali Khan Wednesday directed Pakistan Telecommunication Authority
(PTA) to formulate SOPs for putting in place a framework which
ensures that social media is used as a medium to facilitate
positive, constructive and healthy interactions.
Chairing a high level meeting here, he further directed that
initial draft of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) should be
prepared in a week’s time for further consideration.
The meeting was attended by secretary interior, chairman PTA,
advocate general, chairman National Database and Registration
Authority (NADRA), Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad,
senior officials of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the
ministry.
He also directed chairmen NADRA and PTA to review relevant
laws and regulatory frameworks of neighboring democratic countries
and that of the developed nations for devising a system that ensures
freedom of expression while simultaneously checking unbridled misuse
of social media.
The PTA was directed to consult all stakeholders including
service-providers, civil society, mainstream media and others, for
setting guidelines, duly supported by the legal framework, to
regulate use of social media for constructive purposes and nation-
building process.
The minister asked speaker National Assembly to convene a
meeting of representatives of all political parties for evolving
consensus for putting in place a framework to ensure that social
media platforms are used in a positive manner.
He asked Foreign Office to get in touch with
Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) Secretary General for
convening a meeting at OIC level on issue of blasphemous content
on social media as per commitment given to him by the secretary general
during his last visit to Pakistan. Pakistan is willing to play host
of OIC conference.
He said being a democratic government it is our obligation to
ensure and protect right of every citizen for freedom of expression
but “We are equally bound by law and constitution of the country to
protect our citizens and institutions from assault which is carried
out through social media under garb of freedom of expression.”
Chaudhry Nisar observed no conscientious person could be a
silent spectator to threat which is posed to our socio-cultural
values institutions, our younger generations and sometime is
propagated by a section of social media.
He said right to free speech is stitched to
sense of responsibility and ownership. Ghost users through their
fake IDs feel no qualms in misusing their right of expression and
thus infringing rights of others who are deeply affected by their
imprudent actions.
Over issue of registration of International Non-Governmental
Organizations (INGOs) under new policy framework formulated by
interior ministry, he directed the ministry to finalize process of
making decision on pending application within one month.
The minister also directed for setting up a Wing in interior
ministry with help of NADRA for facilitation of registered INGOs.