On Tuesday night, social media platforms including YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook were suspended in various regions of Pakistan due to protests. The police have repeatedly clashed with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party members since the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier in the day.
Tuesday evening, protesters blocked roads, set fires, and even attacked military areas, prompting police to fire tear gas and water cannons in retaliation. Several local media outlets reported that social media restrictions had been imposed against this backdrop. Moreover, countrywide netblocks indicated that the three websites were also blocked.
Amnesty International has stated that the prohibition “restricts people’s access to information and freedom of expression”
At least three structures were set on fire across the nation by protesters, while police reported that dozens of supporters were arrested. According to Khan’s party, at least four people were slain and twenty were injured in separate confrontations. During the protests, mobile broadband services were suspended on the directives of the interior ministry, according to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, and social media was flooded with complaints of sluggish internet service.
People reported that they were unable to access social media platforms or that they were operating at a snail’s pace, with images and videos taking longer than usual to load.
Downdetector.com indicates that Pakistanis are unable to access their social media accounts, preventing them from publishing or sharing content.
According to ARY News, government sources have verified this outage and stated that it is being carried out to combat the propaganda that is presently prevalent on these social media platforms.
In addition to social media platforms, some users have reported that WhatsApp does not function on their mobile devices or computers.
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is still under detention by the NAB (National Accountability Bureau) in the Al-Qadir Trust case, was detained at the Islamabad High Court earlier today.
Immediately following the arrest, PTI employees called for a nationwide protest campaign, with some of the demonstrations turning violent.
It is unclear whether these social media and internet services will be restored shortly, but we will provide updates as they become available.
Also Read: Imran Khan Arrested in Al-Qadir Trust Case