Over the past four days, Afghan social media users have tweeted thousands of posts on Twitter and on other platforms using the hashtag #sanctiononpakistan, intending to draw the international community's attention to accusations of Pakistani support for the Taliban, which Pakistani officials deny.
A social media expert said the hashtag “sanctiononpakistan” was the top Twitter trend in Afghanistan for the past four days and was the second most popular trend in Pakistan. Social media users from European countries and elsewhere also joined the campaign.
“The people can raise their voices through social media and bring the attention of the international community toward the Afghan people. This indicates that the people are not living in the past decades and they are defending their motherland,” said Negina Yari, a human rights activist.
“These hashtags are shared by the people, not bots,” said Fahim Ahmad Yousuzad, an IT expert, referring to automated social media accounts that can produce the illusion of a groundswell of broad public support for a particular message.
Social media users expressed their hope that the trend will cause international sanctions to be imposed on Pakistan.
“The wounded members of the Taliban are being treated in Pakistan, their leaders live in Pakistan,” said Khaled, a resident in Kabul.
“If Pakistan’s support for terrorism does not stop, Pakistan will pose a threat to the entire world,” said Naser, a Kabul resident.
The Afghan government has accused Pakistan of supporting the Taliban in the group's war against Afghanistan.