Claim:  Several news outlets and social media users reported that Pakistan’s Sindh High Court ordered the government to revoke the ban on social media platform X, previously known as Twitter, within one week.

Fact: This claim is false. The Sindh High Court did not issue a direct order to revoke the ban but instead gave the interior ministry a week to justify the shutdown or otherwise revoke the letter that initiated the ban.

On 17 April 2024, the Sindh High Court (SHC) heard a case regarding the ban on social media platform X (formerly Twitter), which had been in effect since 17 February 2024. The court’s decision was widely reported, but some publications and social media users misrepresented the court’s directive. 

Various news outlets including Lately News, OpIndia, Al Arabiya, Hello Pakistan and social media users claimed on 17 April 2024 that Pakistan’s Sindh High Court had directly ordered the government to revoke the  X ban enacted in Pakistan from 17 February 2024 within one week.

Fact or Fiction?

The court’s actual stance was more nuanced. On 17 April 2024, the SHC directed the interior ministry to take one of two actions: If the ministry failed to justify the ban, they would be mandated to revoke the letter that initiated the ban. Alternatively, the ministry was given the opportunity to provide valid reasons for the ban. If they could demonstrate a lawful justification for blocking X, the ban need not be revoked.

Therefore, the claim that the Sindh High Court directly ordered the revocation of the ban is false. The court’s actual directive was for the interior ministry to either provide a justification for the ban or revoke it. If the ministry fails to provide a justification, only then would they be required to revoke the ban.

By contacting the legal team of one of the petitioners, Soch Fact Check acquired the 17 February Sindh High Court order and examined the relevant section. Although the order says “the letter dated 17.02.2024 and the impugned action of blocking the (formerly Twitter) may be declared as illegal, without unlawful authority, and respondents may be directed to restore the X/Twitter without further loss of time,” in the next paragraph, it states, “However, as an indulgence, we would grant one week’s time to the learned Additional Attorney General and learned counsel for the PTA to seek specific instructions as to whether the letter issued by the Ministry of Interior is still in force, and also to assist there is any lawful justification of any material available to block the (formerly Twitter) for indefinite period, without adopting the legal course as argued by the learned counsel for the petitioners. It is, however, observed that if nothing is placed on record to justify the impugned blocking of XTwitter), the needful shall be done before the next date of hearing,” where the phrase “the needful” refers to the revocation of the 17 February 2024 letter. 


Relevant pages from the court order quoted above. The full order can be found here.

This makes it clear that the letter need not be revoked if a formal justification for the ban can be provided before the next court hearing. Chief Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi emphasised that the “needful” (referring to the revocation of the 17 February 2024 letter) would be done only if no valid justification was presented before the next court hearing. In other words, the court did not directly order an immediate revocation but allowed room for justification.


The incorrect claim has been circulated widely on social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and X, leading to significant engagement from thousands of users.

The claim has been reproduced on Facebook here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here.


Conclusion: The Sindh High Court has given the Interior Ministry an opportunity to present a lawful justification for the ban on platform X. If the ministry cannot provide valid reasons, the court may consider revoking the ban at the next hearing. The claim that the court ordered an immediate revocation is therefore false.


Background image in cover photo: OpIndia

To appeal against our fact-check, please send an email to

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x