Internet monitoring service Netblocks has reported a widespread internet disruption in social media sites all across Pakistan including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and X ahead of PTI’s first-ever “Virtual Power Show” on Sunday night. In a statement on social platform X, the internet tracking agency said, “Live metrics show a nation-scale disruption to social media platforms across #Pakistan, including X/Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.”
Thousands of users complained about difficulty in accessing social media sites and people used VPN services to stream platforms. According to Netblocks, the disruption started ahead of a major virtual gathering organized by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. The virtual rally was scheduled to start at 9 pm and people started facing internet services being slow down after 8 pm. Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has not issued any statement regarding disruption yet.
The virtual meeting was particularly broadcast on the social media site YouTube. But after minutes, the internet started to slow down across the country. PTI condemned it, and called it “an unexpected move” and “proof of the fear of the unprecedented popularity of Imran Khan’s PTI.” On X, the party stated, “The illegitimate, fascist regime has slowed down internet speed & disruption of social media platforms all across Pakistan, before PTI’s historic Virtual Jalsa.”
As per the report on Dawn, Former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa finance minister and PTI leader Taimur Jhagra also noted that internet issues occurred simultaneously with the online rally. Imran Khan’s former chief Dr. Shahbaz Gill also stated that X and YouTube were being disrupted during the transmission of a virtual meeting.
Human Rights Council of Pakistan also denounced and urged the Election Commission, State, and Constitutional institutions to provide a “level playing field” to all political parties for elections, saying “Every political party and individual of Pakistan has the constitutional freedom to hold their political rallies and processions.”
This year on 9th May, PTA confirmed that it had suspended internet and mobile phone service across the country on the aDawnr Dawn reported. Netblocks had also confirmed the nationwide disruption amid the arrest of PTI Chief Imran Khan from the premises of Islamabad High Court in the Al-Qadir Trust case. Although, PTA didn’t respond to the internet outage despite the numerous users’ complaints.
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