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Fawad apologises over social media suspension

Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry. File photo

ISLAMABAD: The social media sites were blocked in extreme circumstances and every effort will be made to prevent a shutdown in future, Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry said.

The newly-appointed information minister also regretted the blockage of social media sites across the country from 11am to 3pm on Friday.

He also promised that he will try his best that the measure is not taken again in the future

“I regret the three-hour suspension of social media and seek an apology over it,” the minister said in a statement.

“Every effort will be made to prevent a shutdown of social media in the future,” he added.

Daily routine across the country had been disrupted during the past few days as supporters of a religiopolitical party took to the streets and staged sit-ins and violent protests in major cities.

At least three people lost their lives, including two policemen, during the ensuing skirmishes between protesters and law enforcement agencies. Hundreds of policemen were injured in attacks by the protesters, some seriously.

On Friday, the interior ministry had directed the telecom regulator to shut social networking sites from 11am till 3pm in a bid to maintain law and order in the country. Officials later said they had feared another wave of protests post Jumma prayers.

Chaudhry promised that those found involved in violence against law enforcement personnel will be brought to book.

“The miscreants will fail in their nefarious designs,” he said, adding the government cannot be blackmailed through a show of force.

He said the government handled the situation wisely and thwarted violent protests.

“The role played by the interior and religious ministries, LEAs and the provincial governments is commendable,” he said.

Fawad added that the masses offered the first Friday prayers of Ramadan peacefully while traffic is now normal on all main roads in the country.

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