Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ahsan Iqbal on Wednesday criticized the government’s decision to launch a crackdown against hate speech on social media , he said the move aimed at “suppressing the voice of those critical of their failures”.

A day earlier, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the government has prepared a mechanism to control hate speech on social media and there would be a strict crackdown from next week.

While talking in an interview, Iqbal said, “The government is flustered and wants to suppress and strangle the criticism over their failures.”

"They [government] pushed Pakistan's media industry into the worst crisis to suffocate their voice and now that people have taken to social media to criticise their failures and remind them of their unfulfilled promises, they are launching a crackdown," Iqbal added.

“They are terming criticism of their policies as hate speech and launching a crackdown,” the PML-N leader upheld.

Iqbal continued, “Hate speech laws were introduced to curb extremism, terrorism, white collar crime and harassment and not to suppress political freedom or democracy."

"We will have no objection if action or notice is taken of those involved in such crimes on social media , however, if the laws are used to curb political freedom and democratic voices then the opposition will strongly oppose it,” Iqbal maintained.