Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Latest Updates

PTA restores mobile internet and social media access after 3-day shutdown

Pakistani business community and civil society condemn internet shutdowns

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is restored mobile broadband and access to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube across Pakistan.

On Friday, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) announced that it was restoring mobile broadband service across Pakistan, following a three-day closure.

The development was confirmed by PTA spokesperson Malahat Obaid, who stated that the service would be restored in a staggered manner.

In its statement, the PTA also announced that access to social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube was being restored in the country.

PTA Suspends Mobile Broadband On Interior Ministry’s Orders

In the wake of violent protests sparked by PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest on Tuesday, the regulatory authority suspended mobile broadband and restricted access to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube on the instructions of the interior ministry.

At the time, a PTA spokesperson said that the data service had been suspended because it was aiding in the spread of violence across the country.

Protests Shake Pakistan After Imran’s Arrest

After footage of a mob clashing with police in Karachi, attacking and entering the army’s head office General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, and vandalizing the official residence of a high-ranking military officer in Lahore flooded social media, the decision was made to take action.

The suspension of data service resulted in significant losses for businesses, as reflected by a 50 percent drop in point-of-sale transactions routed through the country’s main digital payment systems one day after Imran’s arrest.

Earlier today, despite calls for the restoration of the data service from within and outside the country, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah announced that it would remain suspended until those involved in the violence and property damage during the recent protests were apprehended.

The “indefinite” shutdown of mobile internet in the country was termed by Amnesty International as a “clear violation of people’s rights to access information and free expression”.

Earlier, a joint statement was released by more than 100 members of the business community and civil society, condemning the reported and ongoing use of partial and complete internet shutdowns, as well as targeted content and app blocking following the nationwide protests. The statement expressed deep concern over these actions.

According to the joint statement, such shutdowns and blocking or filtering of internet services “unjustifiably limit the rights of peaceful assembly and freedoms of association and expression”.

The joint statement further highlighted that “tens of millions of Pakistanis rely on internet-dependent services to connect with each other and to undertake essential business activities. By blocking, filtering, or shutting down these services, the government is eroding civic space; fostering a climate of economic uncertainty and disrupting access to healthcare, emergency services, and financial services”.

The joint statement also emphasized that such internet disruptions have a negative impact on Pakistani startups, which have attracted more than $700 million in investment during 2022 and 2023, and “are playing a critical role in promoting entrepreneurship, job creation, and digitization across the economy”.

The statement also noted that the suspension of mobile internet services and social media platforms had a negative impact on hundreds and thousands of freelancers and digital creators who rely on these services for their livelihood.

The joint statement concluded by urging the government to recognize internet access as a basic fundamental right that cannot be taken away arbitrarily.

In addition to the concerns raised by civil society and the business community, telecom, and ride-hailing companies also criticized the government’s move and called for the restoration of mobile broadband services.

Web Desk
Written By

Latest Updates

Khadija Shah decides to court arrest, denies her involvement in an attack on the corps commander’s house ISLAMABAD: Khadija Shah, daughter of former finance...

Latest Updates

Imran Khan Raises Questions Over Judicial Independence in Pakistan


Yumna Zaidi and Wahaj Ali Getting Criticism For Choosing ‘Tere Bin‘ Script: Recent episodes of the popular drama series “Tere Bin” on the Geo...

Latest Updates

Imran Khan terms exodus ‘forced divorces’ as Shirin Mazari and Fayyaz Chohan quit the party today Chairman of the PTI and former prime minister...