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PM hints at ‘regulating’ social media in future

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Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Friday highlighted concerns about social media, indicating plans for regulations to curb its alleged misuse.

In an interview with a private TV channel, the premier said that the previous governments worked to control negative aspects of social media and in future, a “national firewall” through the use of technology would be created to subdue the negative tendencies of social media.

Reflecting on the May 9 events, Kakar criticised the elements involved, clarifying that his government did not target any specific political party. He stressed the importance of maintaining social order as a foundation for political stability.

“May 9 [incident] was an attack on the concept of the state of Pakistan and from the very start I was very critical of the elements involved in the incidents,” he said.

However, he added that the entire Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) could not be kept away from Pakistani politics, adding that only specific members of PTI were involved in the chaos.

Also read: PM rules out ban on social media, internet during polls

PM Kakar said that the political parties needed to democratise themselves and decrease the influence of individuals. “The Supreme Court’s decision on the intra-party elections of PTI was a welcome step and would increase the opportunities for politicians from the middle class to make a mark on the political landscape,” he opined.

Regarding Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s visit to Afghanistan, PM Kakar clarified it was a private undertaking, with the state of Pakistan not directly involved. However, he added that the Foreign Office (FO) did brief him on the situation in the neighbouring country.

He said that the citizens of neighbouring countries, including Afghanistan, had to adhere to the immigration laws of Pakistan as it is a common practice throughout the world.

Commenting on Iran’s attack on Pakistani soil, Kakar expressed shock and condemned the aggression. He affirmed that both nations agreed on the necessity for de-escalation after the incident.

Read: PM urges youth to collectively fight enemies’ propaganda

“Iran’s attack on Pakistani soil was absolutely wrong and Pakistan responded appropriately to the aggression. We were shocked by Iran’s attack. We were not expecting this,” he said.

The premier said that both sides had agreed to the need for de-escalation.

On February 8 general elections, the interim prime minister said that they would bring political stability to the country, saying that after the polls, the new government would work to achieve political and economic stability.

He said his government successfully achieved most of the targets set by it and a white paper would be issued to enlist those successes. “The biggest challenges were economic issues,” he said, adding the next government would have to work with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and bring reforms in the taxation system to take the economy forward.

He said that the government carried forward the process of privatisation of state-owned entities, including Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). The process of privatisation was almost complete, he added.

The prime minister said that the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) led the effort to sign $25 billion worth of memorandums of understanding with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. The SIFC was formed by the previous government after the enactment of a law in the Parliament, he recalled.

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