New Delhi: Twitter, on Tuesday, ‘withheld’ the Pakistan government’s official handle in India. The latest action by Twitter in India comes days after it suspended the handles of several Pakistan embassies, as well as that of government-run Radio Pakistan. In June, Twitter banned the handles of Pakistani missions in Iran, Egypt, Turkey, and the United Nations.

In response, Islamabad slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in India and claimed that the “diminishing space for the plurality of voices and access to info in India is extremely alarming’. “SM platforms must abide by applicable int’l norms; we are urging @Twitter to restore immediate access to our accounts & ensure adherence to democratic freedoms of speech & expression (sic),” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Pakistan said in a tweet.

In a statement cited by AFP, Twitter had said that the suspensions were ‘limited to the specific jurisdiction/ country where the content is determined to be illegal’.

Twitter seeks legal review of GoI orders to remove certain accounts

Meanwhile, amid ongoing actions against specific handles, Twitter has reportedly sought a judicial review of the Indian government’s orders. Officials familiar with the matter told news agency Reuters that the social media giant argued that some removal orders by the Indian government fell short of the procedural requirements of India’s IT Act.

Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, however, backed the government’s stand and said that it is important to hold social media accountable. “Social media accountability has become a valid question globally. It’s important to hold it accountable. which will first start with self-regulation, then industry regulation, which will be followed by govt regulation,” Vaishnaw said, news agency ANI reported.

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