Pakistan suspends services of social media platforms following violent protest

PTI | Islamabad | Updated: 16-04-2021 13:40 IST | Created: 16-04-2021 13:40 IST
Pakistan suspends services of social media platforms following violent protest

Pakistan on Friday temporarily suspended the services of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp to stop their use to organise demonstrations following violent protests by a radical religious group that has now been banned by the government.

The government banned Tehreek-i-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) on Thursday following three days of violent protest by it to force the government to expel the French ambassador over a blasphemous caricature published in France last year.

The TLP had launched the country-wide protest on Monday after the arrest of its chief Saad Hussain Rizvi.

The TLP supporters clashed with the law enforcement agencies in several towns and cities earlier this week, leaving seven persons dead and over 300 policemen injured.

To stop the protests after Friday prayers, the Interior Ministry directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to suspend social media services for four hours from 11 am to 3 pm.

The PTA said in a notification that “complete access to social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube and Telegram) may be blocked”.

The reason for the suspension of the services was not stated by the PTA but official sources said that it was feared that protesters could use social media to organise demonstrations.

Suspension of internet and mobile phone services is a common practice in Pakistan to forestall protests and acts of terrorism.

But this time only social media has been particularly targeted as the TLP was reportedly using it effectively against the government action.

On Thursday, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed warned the TLP against using YouTube to upload propaganda videos.

The TLP came to prominence in November 2017 when it staged a sit-in at the Faizabad interchange near Islamabad and cut off the capital from the old international airport.

Pakistan Muslims League-Nawaz (PML-N) was in the government then and Imran Khan, the current prime minister, and his Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf party had supported the protest.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



Blockchain in Healthcare: Opportunities and challenges

The use of blockchain in healthcare is a relatively new innovation with many of its uses still being explored and related technologies being developed, improved, and scaled. ...

Debate surrounding vaccine passports and development misses bigger picture

... ...

Blockchain vs IOTA: Looking for a better alternative

... ...

For stability, Iraq needs to crack down on corruption

... ...


Latest News

China stocks edge higher on energy, transport gains

China stocks inched higher on Tuesday, led by gains in energy and transport firms, though Sino-U.S. tensions capped further gains. At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.32 at 3,529.01, while the blue-chip CSI300 index was up ...

Efforts on to provide states 15-day advance schedule of vaccination; it will allow them to prepare accordingly: PM Modi.

Efforts on to provide states 15-day advance schedule of vaccination it will allow them to prepare accordingly PM Modi....

IEA calls for unprecedented transformation of how energy is produced

The world has a viable pathway to building a global energy sector with net-zero emissions in 2050 but it is narrow and requires an unprecedented transformation of how energy is produced, transported and used globally, the International Ener...

I understand I can't play every Test but communication should be clear: Broad

Stuart Broad is loathe to the idea of missing a Test but the seasoned England pacer doesnt mind being rested sometimes either as long as the communication is clear, something, which he believes, did not happen when Ed Smith was national sel...

Give Feedback