Social Media Services Disrupted Across Pakistan Amidst PTI Digital Jalsa.
Pakistani Internet Blackout Silences PTI Virtual Rally: Outcry Over Censorship
Pakistani authorities have sparked outrage by disrupting internet access across the country, coinciding with a planned virtual gathering of the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.
The move, widely seen as an attempt to stifle dissent, has ignited concerns about freedom of expression and information in the nation.
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Digital Blackout Descends: Social Media Services Disrupted Across Pakistan Amidst PTI Digital Jalsa
- Shortly before the PTI’s “virtual power show” scheduled for 9:00 pm Sunday, internet monitor Netblocks reported a nationwide disruption to social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
- Users in major cities like Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad experienced difficulties accessing these platforms starting around 8:00pm, with complaints of slow internet speeds adding to the frustration.
- Former PTI leader Taimur Jhagra and activist Usama Khilji condemned the disruption, calling it a violation of Pakistani citizens’ right to information and freedom of association.
A History of Censorship?
- This incident echoes a similar internet blackout on May 9th, when access to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube was restricted during the arrest of PTI chief Imran Khan.
- The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) confirmed the earlier outage, citing instructions from the interior ministry.
Concerns and Questions:
- The recent internet disruption raises serious concerns about censorship and the suppression of political dissent in Pakistan.
- Critics argue that silencing online platforms undermines democratic values and limits the free flow of information.
- The question of whether the government’s actions are justified and within the bounds of legal and ethical considerations remains a burning issue.
The incident has ignited a heated debate within Pakistan and beyond, highlighting the importance of protecting online freedoms and ensuring a level playing field for political expression. As the situation unfolds, it is crucial to monitor developments closely and hold authorities accountable for upholding democratic principles.
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