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Pakistan announces 'massive' social media crackdown

AFP  |  Islamabad 

Pakistani authorities Wednesday vowed to carry out a "massive" crackdown targeting and on social media, as a boasted arrests have already been made.

Officials in are frequently accused of muzzling the media and targeting individuals critical of the country's powerful military establishment and have blocked hundreds of websites and accounts over the years.

announced the government was setting up a new enforcement arm to regulate during a speech in the capital

"We made some arrests last week and by the will of Allah we are launching a massive crackdown against users spreading and violence," he said.

Self censorship in the nation is widely believed to be rife at traditional outlets.

"Our problem is that is over taking so it is important for us to regulate this," Chaudhry added, saying: "Informal media is a greater problem than "

The announcement comes days after authorities arrested a for allegedly posting defamatory content on social media.

And on Tuesday an opinion piece in the criticising Pakistan's powerful was censored by its and replaced by a blank space.

Activists and bloggers frequently report receiving warnings from and for posting unlawful content.

also complained about pressure in the run-up to a in July to self-censor in favour of the eventual victor, cricketer-turned-prime-

The Committee to Protect Journalists said the had "quietly but effectively, set restrictions on reporting" in a report released September last year.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 13 2019. 19:50 IST