The account continues to be accessible for users viewing it from outside India
Twitter accounts of embassies of Pakistan in Egypt and Iran, the permanent mission of Pakistan to the UN and Radio Pakistan were also blocked: Report
In June, multiple Twitter accounts linked to Pakistan government were also blocked, but were reinstated later in July
The official Twitter handle of the Pakistan government has been withheld in India and is inaccessible in the country. The Twitter page of the handle says that the account has been withheld in India in response to a ‘legal demand’.
However, the page is accessible to users viewing it from outside India.
The page was blocked in the country reportedly in response to a blocking order issued by the union government. According to Moneycontrol, other Twitter accounts including those of the embassies of Pakistan in Egypt and Iran, the permanent mission of Pakistan to the United Nations, and Radio Pakistan were also blacked as part of the crackdown.
There was no immediate clarity on what prompted the blocking orders from the Indian government. However, Twitter guidelines state that the social media platform blocks handles based on a legal demand such as a court order.
This is not the first time that accounts associated with the Pakistan government have been withheld in India. In June, India banned official accounts of Pakistan embassies in the UN, Turkey, Iran and Egypt. Subsequently, the accounts were reactivated in July, but have again been blocked in the country.
The move comes amidst growing hostilities between the two countries. Last month, the two sides sparred against each other in the UN over a range of issues.
Interestingly, the order comes at a time when the government has stepped up actions on a wide ranging online content and accounts. Earlier this week, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) issued orders to internet service providers to immediately block access to 67 pornographic websites under the new Information Technology (IT) Rules.
Last month, the government also directed YouTube to block 45 videos hosted on 10 channels. In January, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) ordered blocking of 35 Pakistan-based YouTube channels for ‘spreading anti-India fake news’.
Since 2021, authorities have blocked 94 YouTube channels and 19 social media accounts for reasons ranging from fake news to disturbing law and order.
Meanwhile, Twitter is locked in a legal tussle with the Centre over content takedown orders. The social media platform recently told the Karnataka HC that close to 50%-60% of tweets that the government asked it to block were ‘innocuous’.