Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry has regretted the blockage of social media sites across the country from 11am to 3pm on Friday, promising 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,” Chaudhry said in a statement on Friday.
“Every effort will be made to prevent a shutdown of social media in the future,” said the federal minister.
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.