The digitisation of Pakistan has been a cause of concern for successive governments, especially because it allows the space to many dissenting voices in the country. In the last couple of years, platforms like Twitter and Facebook have provided a platform and a voice to those generally marginalised within the system. As a result, we have seen how rigorously the government has tried to filter out content. Pakistan was among the top few countries that have repeatedly contacted Facebook to take down anti-state content. The government was also planning to regulate Twitter but the authorities did not comply. PTI has been working relentlessly to introduce the regulation of social media, however, the task is much complex than it seems.

Countries around the world are battling with this idea because there is a fine line between regulation and curbing freedom of expression. In a bid to discard the government’s new clauses, Facebook, Google and Twitter have threatened to leave the country. This is because these platforms believe in the right to express and due to the pressure being threefold, the government will be forced to reconsider their decision. For the digitisation of Pakistan, there is a requirement for these platforms. Otherwise Pakistan would be left far behind in the game.

The government needs to develop a serious understanding of digital platforms and how they can help improve the relationship between the voter and the representatives along with providing opportunities for the government to be exposed to multiple narratives within a polity. For this purpose, the government needs to involve the parliament along with other stakeholders to understand digitalisation holistically. Progressive laws can help shape a better relationships between representatives and voters, and in this case, the laws will also define Pakistan with respect to the global digital economy. Restricting the variety of opinions will only push people further back into the same mindframe, not allowing Pakistanis to catch up with the rest of the world.