Pakistan summons Indian envoy, protests against Twitter blockage
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan yesterday summoned the Indian Charge d’Affaires (Cd’A) and a strong demarche was made on the Indian government’s blocking of access to content of 80 accounts on Twitter including accounts of Pakistan’s diplomatic Missions in Iran, Turkey, Egypt, UN-New York and the national broadcaster Radio Pakistan, by activating geo-blocking and censorship laws. The diplomat was conveyed that these Indian actions were against the international standards, obligations, norms, and framework of flow of information and reflected the alarming pace of shrinking space for pluralistic voices and curbing of fundamental freedoms in India, said a Foreign Ministry statement. It was noted that the new illegal practice employed by the Indian government of regulating the internet sphere with regard to diplomatic accounts, with a clear intent to stifle dissent stood completely against the rights to access to information and fundamental freedom of opinion or expression. “The government of India has been urged to immediately reverse its actions relating to the blocking of Pakistan’s diplomatic Missions’ Twitter accounts in India. India must also abide by the established international norms and standards as espoused by the United Nations and also ensure protection of fundamental freedoms and respect for dissent,” it said.