ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) announced on Wednesday that internet services across the country will be suspended indefinitely.
The telecommunications authority stated that the decision to halt mobile broadband services was based on Ministry of Interior guidelines.
The services were shut down a day earlier as protests erupted following the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust case.
Furthermore, major social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are apparently unavailable to many users in Pakistan, who have been unable to access these platforms since yesterday.
After the former prime minister’s detention sparked unrest, videos of violent rallies were extensively circulated on social media sites, and mobile broadband services were shut down.
According to a PTA representative, the regulatory organization was also receiving complaints about social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram being down. These reports, however, could not be substantiated, she noted.
According to sources, “unwarranted” footage of the protests was circulated on social media, causing interruptions on numerous platforms at about 8 p.m. on Tuesday, causing problems for locals.
What had occurred?
Rangers’ personnel detained Khan earlier today from the grounds of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in accordance with a warrant issued by the National Accountability Bureau in the Al-Qadir Trust case.
Following his detention, PTI asked supporters to protest and “block all roads, close all shops” across Pakistan.
Following that, PTI workers protested in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Multan, Peshawar, and Mardan.
Demonstrators battled with police near Nursery in Karachi. They flung stones at police vehicles, set fire to them, ripped down street lights, and destroyed a bus. According to reports, police fired tear gas shells at the demonstrators.
Protesters also caused property damage in other cities, including Rawalpindi and Lahore.
Many users in Pakistan reported being unable to access social media sites in the evening hours later.
A big number of smartphone users have also complained about WhatsApp not operating on both desktops and cellphones.
Furthermore, according to reports, internet speed is poor for many people around the country.