The internet services in Pakistan faced nationwide disruption as people complained about difficulties accessing social media platforms, Dawn reported citing Internet monitor Netblocks.
This comes amid the virtual power show by former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI). The virtual rally was scheduled to begin at 9 pm, but the whole social media turned down.
“Live metrics show a nation-scale disruption to social media platforms across #Pakistan, including X, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube,” Netblocks said in a statement.
The internet tracking agency further noted that the incident came ahead of a major PTI virtual gathering. The online event kicked off at 9 pm.
Users reported having difficulty accessing social media platforms in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad shortly after 8 pm. Users also complained about internet services being slow, according to Dawn.
PTI also condemned the reported disruptions and called this “proof of fear” of the party’s “unprecedented popularity.”
“This is proof of the fear of the unprecedented popularity of Imran Khan’s PTI! In what was an expected move, the illegitimate, fascist regime has slowed down internet speed & disruption of social media platforms all across Pakistan, prior to PTI’s historic Virtual Jalsa!” PTI posted on X (formerly Twitter).
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) did not respond to repeated requests for comment, according to Dawn.
Earlier on May 9, when violent protests broke out after Imran Khan’s arrest, the PTA confirmed that it had suspended mobile broadband across the country on the interior ministry’s instructions.
Netblocks had said access to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube was restricted across Pakistan amid PTI chief Imran Khan’s arrest on that day from the Islamabad High Court’s premises in the Al-Qadir Trust case.
Earlier in July, Pakistan was ranked third in the world over the imposition of internet restrictions in the first half of 2023, Dawn reported.
It further cited a report by Surfshark, a virtual private network company headquartered in Lithuania, and stated that a half-year analysis of internet shutdowns based on the Internet Shutdown Tracker revealed that Pakistan was responsible for three of the 42 new restrictions worldwide that were imposed following Imran’s arrest.
At the time, access to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube was restricted in the country. At the same time, several temporary cellular network disruptions were also witnessed across the country for several days afterwards, Dawn reported.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)