Peshawar: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has issued instructions under the Pakhtunkhwa Government Servants Conduct Rules 1987, urging government and civil servants to abstain from participating in social media platforms, particularly WhatsApp.
According to official documents the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government referring the Rule-34(A) of the aforementioned rules states that government servants are prohibited from using social media to discuss or share information related to government business. However, social media platforms may be used with prior approval from the Administrative Secretary, the head of attached departments, or the Commission to disseminate information to the public regarding government initiatives for better governance.
The official notification stated recent instances have come to the attention of the competent authority, where civil and government servants have been found participating in WhatsApp groups and other social media platforms discuss matters pertaining to political issues, sectarianism, and anti-state activities. Such actions are in violation of the rules, document warned.
It was told that all the concerned should know that under the same rules, no civil or government servant is allowed to participate in any media platforms without the express permission of the government. Rules 23, 24, 25, 28, and 29 of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government Servants (Conduct) Rules, 1987 also prohibit government servants from expressing views that are against the ideology and security of Pakistan. Moreover, these rules forbid government servants from taking part in any public demonstration that opposes a government decision or policy.
Attention is also drawn to Rule-25 of the rules, which states that no government servant shall make any statement of fact or opinion, in any published document, public utterance, radio broadcast, television program, or any other means that could potentially embarrass the federal or provincial government. Rule-21 further specifies that government servants are prohibited from directly or indirectly communicating official information or the contents of any official document to unauthorized government servants, non-official individuals, or the press, except in accordance with any special or general order of the government.
These instructions have been issued to ensure that government servants adhere to the established rules and regulations regarding the use of social media and the dissemination of official information. Violations of these rules may result in disciplinary action against the concerned individuals.