Muslim World league provides timely relief to Pakistan flood victims

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Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Pakistan visited the Neelum Valley in Pakistan-administered Kashmir to review the situation, after heavy rains and floods devastated the area on July 20. (Photo Courtesy: Saudi Embassy)
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Pakistan’s military officers and local authorities brief Saudi ambassador Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki on the damage caused by heavy rains and floods on July 20. (Photo Courtesy: Saudi Embassy)
Updated 08 August 2019

Muslim World league provides timely relief to Pakistan flood victims

  • Aid from Muslim World League is an extension of humanitarian role played by Kingdom, Saudi envoy says
  • Move follows Al-Malki’s visit to Neelum Valley in Pakistan-administered Kashmir in July this year

ISLAMABAD: As part of efforts to facilitate flood victims in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, The World Relief, Care and Development group – an extension of the Makkah-based Muslim World League (MWL) – launched an emergency program this week, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Tuesday.
During the launch ceremony of the program held on Monday, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki said, “This program is an extension of the humanitarian role played by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in assisting needy countries and people, including Pakistan,” according to SPA.
On July 20, Al-Malki visited Pakistan’s Neelum valley after devastating floods killed more than 30 people in the northernmost region of Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
He was accompanied by a team from the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) that reviewed the urgent requirements on-ground for the area.
At least 109 people were killed and 86 others injured in separate rain-related accidents across Pakistan in July this year, the country’s National Disaster Management Authority said in its advisory released on August 2.


Pakistan to bring social media giants under local regulations

Updated 17 min 23 sec ago

Pakistan to bring social media giants under local regulations

  • Law ministry vetting the draft bill in this regard, says PM’s adviser on digital media
  • Twitter suspended 396 accounts of Pakistani users in recent days

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is drafting new laws to ensure that social media companies, including Twitter and Facebook, operate under local rules and regulations, the prime minister’s adviser on digital media said on Friday, adding that the government also wanted to bring these organizations into the tax net.
The move comes after the government faced numerous legal challenges in recent months to negotiate with the micro-blogging websites to get offensive posts removed, restore suspended accounts of hundreds of Pakistani users, and ensure other digital rights of its citizens.
“The draft bill is currently being vetted by the Ministry of Law,” Dr. Arslan Khalid, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s focal person on digital media, told Arab News. “Once enacted it will help us make social media websites follow our local rules and regulations.”
He said that all relevant ministries and government departments had given their input during the preparation of the draft law which would “hopefully come into force soon.”
Pakistan is one of the major markets for social media platforms where around 70 million people are internet users in a population of 208 million, and the broadband penetration, including 3G and 4G, is rapidly increasing with the improved telecom infrastructure and reach in the country’s remote areas.
“The new laws will also help us bring social media platforms within the ambit of taxation,” Khalid said.
In the absence of local laws for social media platforms, Pakistani users frequently fall victim to the account suspension policy of these platforms. Owing to a lack of proper legal framework, he added, Pakistan was currently negotiating with social media companies on “request-based applications only.”
Twitter recently suspended 396 accounts of Pakistani users which the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s (PTA) spokesperson, Khurram Mehran, said was “against the set principles of freedom of speech.”
He continued that the PTA had reported the suspended accounts to Twitter administration, but only 66 of them had so far been restored. “Twitter has suspended accounts of Pakistani users without any warning and on unsubstantiated grounds,” he told Arab News.
However, the social media giant said the suspension of Pakistani users’ accounts was in line with the company’s policy.
“Platform manipulation, including spam and other attempts to undermine the public conversation, is a clear violation of the Twitter Rules,” a spokesperson for Twitter said on Thursday in response to email queries by Arab News.
“We take proactive action against millions of accounts each week for violating our policies in this area,” the spokesperson said.
The PM’s adviser on digital media admitted that some Pakistani users’ accounts may have been suspended for violating the company’s community guidelines as “there is a need to increase digital literacy in the country.”
Digital rights activists and cyber-security researchers have urged the government to formulate a comprehensive cyber-security policy to deal with all the modern and technological challenges.
“Until and unless our government formulates a cyber-security policy that is in line with the international conventions, we cannot hold social media platforms accountable,” Mubashir Sargana, a cyber-security researcher, told Arab News.