The state of digital media freedoms in Pakistan remained weak during 2020-21 due to regulatory pressures and threats against online expression

PESHAWAR: The government is working on a proposal to ban the use of social media by the government employees, sources said.

According to sources, a summary has been prepared for ban on use of social media for government employees, and issuance of statements or other content on the print or electronic media. A circular to this effect is expected to be released soon.

Under the new rules, the government employees will not be allowed to publish any statement on print, electronic or online media, while those violating the ban will face punishment. Besides that, affiliation with any political party and advertisement or publicity of any political party will also be banned for government servants and officers.

The sources said that the circular has been sent to the concerned authorities for approval. A notification to this effect is expected to be issued soon.

The decision, if implemented will not be an easy one, as the government will face criticism from different quarters, particularly the opposition parties, for banning social media for government servants. No official or opposition version on the issue is available so far as perhaps no one wants to comment on the issue before it gets practical shape.

However, there are also segments in the society that want ban on unverified political content on the social media, especially that which maligns political personalities by those belonging to rival parties. Many social media users are also in the habit of unnecessarily glorifying the achievements of the political figures which don’t exist at all. The misuse of social media is under debate in several countries, including the developed countries, and voices are being raised to regularise its use.

Meanwhile, it has also emerged that there will be no increase in the salaries of the government employees this year due to the poor state of economy.

According to sources, no proposal of salary raise for government employees is under consideration this year. It has been stated that there will be no salary increase during the next two years as the country’s economy is under severe pressure. If it happens, it will severely disappoint the government employees as it will become further difficult for them to cope with the inflationary pressure.



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