SHC orders suspension of TikTok till at least July 8


The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday banned popular social media platform TikTok in the country over “immoral content” and celebrating “LGBT-Pride Month”.

The latest ban, the third with in the last two years, will be applicable till at least July 8, which is the next date of hearing.

“In view of such submission[s] by the representative of the defendant No. 2, the ban was lifted from the defendant No. 3, but the defendant No. 3, paying no heed to the constant undertakings and assurances given by them before various Courts and the defendant No., nor respecting the law and the basic injunctions of Islam as well as the culture of Pakistan, has recently started a social media campaign whereby they are celebrating ‘LGBT-Pride Month’,” read the court order released today.

“Let [a] notice be issued to the defendants as well a DAG [Deputy Attorney General] Pakistan for 08.07.2021 and till then the defendant No. 2 is hereby directed to suspend the operations of and/or access to the TikTok application in Pakistan.”

Lawyers Muhammad Asad Ashfaq and Maaz Waheed confirmed the development to The Express Tribune.

On April 1, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) directed to lift the ban on popular video-sharing social networking service TikTok, directing the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to ensure non-access to unethical and objectionable material keeping in view the provisions of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016.

Earlier, on March 11, 2021, a ban had been placed on TikTok. As per the orders of the PHC, the PTA had issued instructions to the internet service providers to lift the ban on the TikTok app.

PHC Chief Justice Qaisar Rashid Khan presided over the hearing of a petition filed against the social media app. PTA director general, director legal and lawyer Jahanzeb Mehsud, and petitioner’s lawyer Sara Ali Khan were in attendance.

During the proceedings, the PHC chief justice inquired about the action taken against the unethical content on the social media app.“We have raised the issue again with the TikTok’s administration,” the PTA DG had replied. “They have also hired a focal person and will look into all the unethical and objectionable material that is being uploaded.”