The government of the Punjab province of Pakistan has banned the use of WhatsApp for exchange of public and secret documents by the officers in public offices.
According to a government notification obtained by NewsBox, the ban on government employees was imposed last week.
According to the text of the notification, ‘Government officials are warned that they will not use WhatsApp for any kind of public or secret documents.’
The notification issued by the Services and General Administration Department does not mention why the move was taken.
Former Additional Secretary Punjab Arif Khan told NewsBox, “The government’s move is apparently to secure documents whose leaks could harm the government.”
Everything is shared on the WhatsApp now, as it is the easiest and fastest way to move documents from one place to another, he said. However, it is only the government that can best tell whether the ban is intended to block access to information to the public or the media, or to the government’s reliance on the WhatsApp service.
Last year, the Islamabad High Court banned the use of social media by judges. The Islamabad High Court had warned judges and court officials that using services like Twitter and Facebook would be considered a violation of the code of conduct.