Pakistan is again in the news! Not because of its crumbling economy, the prospect of civil war, or the politicians washing their dirty linen in public. This time, it’s because of Twitter.
Dawn reported that the platform has not only blocked access to the Pakistan government’s official handle for users in Pakistan-occupied- Gilgit-Baltistan, but has also changed the location of the region to Indian territory.
When users in Pakistan-occupied-Gilgit-Baltistan turn on the location feature on Twitter, their tweets are marked as originating from India’s Kashmir. Some users who tried to gain access to the Pakistan government’s account on Twitter reported seeing a message that said the account had been withheld in India due to a legal demand.
Twitter users reaction
Yasir Hussain, a resident of Rahimabad area of Gilgit, tweeted, “I am in Gilgit-Baltistan and Twitter can’t show tweets from [the] Government of Pakistan, saying that account has been withheld in India in response to a legal demand! Hello Twitter Support, I’m in Pakistan, why can’t I see tweets from various accounts I follow including the one mentioned?”
Another Twitter user from Gilgit-Baltistan, Karim Shah Nizari told Dawn, “The only option we are getting is Jammu and Kashmir.”
Pakistani officials have denied these claims. They called it, “baseless”, stating that, “There are no restrictions on the freedom of the internet, media and expression in the entire Gilgit Baltistan.”
It looks like the recent meeting between Elon Musk and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the US might have prompted this move. Gilgit-Baltistan is an illegal occupation by the Pakistani government. Therefore, this move is not only significant but also legally valid.