The Islamabad High Court (IHC) strongly believes that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) banned TikTok without any solid justification. This was emphasized by the Court in a four-page order issued on Saturday that observed that it was a recognized fact that only 1 percent of people had been misusing the controversial social media platform.
As reported by The Express Tribune, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah ordered the PTA to seek governmental policy on the matter of banning TikTok and submit a report on September 20.
Replying to the judge’s query, PTA officials told the court that the ban on TikTok was ineffective as it could be accessed through other means of technology.
In the order, the court observed that it was a recognised fact that only 1% of people were misusing TikTok, so the ban on social media applications was not the solution.
“The sign of degradation in society cannot be matched with the content on social media sites. The globally extraordinary advancement of technology has posed many challenges to the society,” the order read.
TikTok has been a matter of controversy in Pakistan ever since October 2020, when the PTA banned it for the first time over “objectionable” content, only to reverse the ban 10 days later.
During an earlier hearing, the court had questioned why the PTA wanted to cut off the country from the rest of the world.
“Why social media apps are not being banned in the outside world though the law is strict there? What does PTA want from this [ban]? If you can’t beat the technology then why are you doing this?” the judge inquired.
The IHC asked the PTA attorney why the telecommunication authority had not taken instructions from the federal cabinet despite its orders regarding a policy on ban on TikTok.
The court inquired why TikTok was not banned in Dubai or European countries, and wondered what kind of “message does PTA want to send to the world?”
Justice Minallah pointed out that the telecommunication authority itself had filed an undertaking stating that 1% people were misusing TikTok. He insisted that the technology could not be shut down, and that the PTA should be prepared to deal with any and all challenges.