Grade 17 Officers in Punjab Face Social Media Ban Over Civil Services Rules

The Punjab government has issued a notification banning its Grade 17 officers from using social media platforms, such as TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc., to express their personal opinions or make comments on any matter related to their official duties. The notification, issued by the Services and General Administration Department (S&GAD), states that such activities are a violation of the civil services rules and may harm national security, public order, decency, morality, or the reputation of the government. The notification also warns that strict action will be taken against those who violate these instructions.

The ban applies to all officers of the Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS) and the Provincial Management Service (PMS) who are posted in various positions in the field as well as in the secretariat. The notification says that these officers are considered as the face of the provincial government and should refrain from engaging themselves with social media without taking into consideration its fallout among the public at large. The notification also urges the officers to use social media responsibly and constructively for public welfare and awareness.

The notification has sparked mixed reactions among the civil servants and the general public. Some have welcomed the move as a necessary step to maintain discipline and professionalism among the government officers, while others have criticized it as a violation of freedom of expression and an attempt to silence dissenting voices. Some have also questioned the legality and enforceability of the ban, as well as its implications for the privacy and security of the officers.

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