Hundreds of Pakistani Twitter accounts suspended for Kashmir tweets

Social media giant's move follows objections from India, says Pakistani regulator
Hundreds of Pakistani Twitter accounts suspended for Kashmir tweets

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority said it has received more than 300 complaints about the suspension of Twitter accounts over tweets made about Indian Kashmir. (Photo by Loic Venance/AFP)

ucanews.com reporter, Karachi
Pakistan
September 6, 2019
Hundreds of Pakistani Twitter accounts have been suspended for tweeting about New Delhi’s revoking of special constitutional status for Indian Kashmir, claims Pakistan’s telecommunications regulator.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said it had received 333 complaints regarding the suspension of Twitter accounts vocal about a military and communication lockdown in India’s Jammu and Kashmir.

The accounts were reportedly suspended following objections from India.

The uptick in tensions has come after an Indian presidential decree on Aug. 5 abrogated Article 370 of India's constitution that guaranteed special rights in the Muslim-majority state.

New Delhi has also imposed a crippling curfew, suspended telecommunications and the internet, and arrested mainstream political leaders and activists.

The PTA said on Sept. 4 that the Twitter accounts had been “suspended for posting tweets about Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.” The regulator accused Twitter of bias against Pakistan.

According to the PTA, off the 333 complaints it forwarded to Twitter, only 67 accounts have so far been restored. “Twitter has not responded officially nor given any reason of suspension of these accounts,” the PTA said.

Twitter told ucanews.com why they suspended the accounts.

“Twitter exists to serve the public conversation, including in national and regional events of political importance," a Twitter spokesperson told ucnews.com.

“We are founded on the principles of free expression and believe people on all sides of an issue have a fundamental right to discuss them within the boundaries of our policies, which prohibit terrorism, hateful conduct, platform manipulation, and abuse,” the spokesperson said.

“At Twitter no one is above our rules. We enforce our policies judiciously and impartially for all users — regardless of their political beliefs and background.”

The disputed Himalayan region is claimed by both Pakistan and India and has been the source of tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.

This article was updated to include sought after comments from a Twitter spokesperson three hours after the initial publishing.

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