Pakistan blocks social media apps temporarily on security grounds - officials

"As the government announced earlier...wherever we need we will be blocking social media to crack down against Tehrik-i-Labaiak," he said, on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to media. The country has been mired in protests by TLP this week.

Reuters | Islamabad | Updated: 16-04-2021 13:47 IST | Created: 16-04-2021 13:31 IST
Pakistan blocks social media apps temporarily on security grounds - officials
Representative image Image Credit: Pixabay

Pakistan temporarily blocked Facebook, Twitter, and several other social media apps on security grounds on Friday amid a crackdown against a violent Islamist group, officials said. "To maintain public order and safety, access to certain social media applications has been restricted temporarily," a senior telecommunications authority official told Reuters, without specifying which social media.

The interior ministry said in a statement the block would last until 1500 local time (1000 GMT) and applied to YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Telegram, and Tiktok. Pakistan said this week it had banned the Islamist group Tehrik-i-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) after the arrest of its leader sparked major nationwide protests that were also fuelled by anti-France sentiment.

A second security source said that the block was linked to an operation underway against the group. "As the government announced earlier...wherever we need we will be blocking social media to crack down against Tehrik-i-Labaiak," he said, on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to media.

The country has been mired in protests by TLP this week. At least four policemen have been killed in three days of violence, according to the country's information minister. Nearly 600 people have been wounded, with 200 in critical condition, The group has been agitating against the arrest of its chief ahead of countrywide rallies to denounce the publication of cartoons in France depicting the Prophet Mohammad.

For Muslims, depictions of the Prophet are blasphemous. Some rights activists criticized Friday's social media blackout, warning it could lead to more severe curbs on freedoms.

"These arbitrary decisions of blocking and banning have never done any good (and) instead opened ways to blanket bans," said Nighat Dad, head of the Digital Rights Foundation on Twitter, shortly before the site became inaccessible.

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


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

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

... ...

Videos

Latest News

INSTANT VIEW-Cyberattack on pipeline spotlights holes in U.S. energy security

A cyberattack that shut the largest U.S. gasoline pipeline and jeopardized supplies from Gulf Coast refining centers to cities including Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Atlanta put energy security back in the spotlight.Colonial Pipeline hal...

BJP names Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar, gen sec Arun Singh as central observers for legislative party meeting to elect leader in Assam.

BJP names Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar, gen sec Arun Singh as central observers for legislative party meeting to elect leader in Assam....

Panel set up to inquire complaints of overcharging by private hospitals in J-K's Samba

Authorities in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday constituted an inquiry team to probe into the allegations of overcharging by private hospitals.Deputy Commissioner, Samba, Anuradha Gupta, ordered the inquiry following reports ...

Two doctors attacked

Two doctors working with the Government Medical College and Hospital GMCH here in Maharashtra were thrashed by two unidentified persons on a road on Saturday over a minor issue, police said.The incident occurred in the evening when Dr Kwaja...

Give Feedback