Following the arrest of PTI Chairman Imran Khan and the subsequent outbreak of violent protests, the Pakistani government decided to restore mobile data services late on Friday night. However, access to key social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, remained restricted even a day later as the interior ministry had yet to lift the ban.
In response to the protests and the circulation of videos depicting acts of vandalism on social media, the government suspended mobile internet services and blocked access to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube on May 9. The intention was to prevent the spread of inflammatory content and maintain law and order.
After facing mounting pressure from various quarters to restore internet services and social media platforms, the interior ministry directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Friday to lift the restrictions. As a result, mobile internet services were restored around 10 pm. However, Twitter and other social media websites remained inaccessible even on Saturday.
Officials from the telecommunication authority clarified that the restriction on Twitter had not been lifted, as the ministry had explicitly instructed the regulator to keep the platform blocked. The government’s decision was reportedly driven by concerns that the social media platform could be exploited by the opposition for political gain.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a senior official from the information ministry highlighted the government’s apprehension that the opposition would exploit Twitter for political purposes.
The continued restriction on social media platforms has sparked debate and criticism regarding freedom of expression and access to information. Advocates argue that the restrictions infringe upon citizens’ right to free speech and impede their ability to express their opinions and share information. On the other hand, proponents of the government’s decision claim that the restrictions are necessary to maintain stability and prevent the dissemination of misleading or inflammatory content that could incite further violence.
As the situation unfolds, many are eagerly awaiting the interior ministry’s decision regarding the restoration of access to Twitter and other social media platforms. The outcome will likely have significant implications for the country’s digital landscape and the future of online discourse.
while mobile data services have been restored following the violent protests and arrest of Imran Khan, access to key social media platforms remains restricted. The government’s decision to maintain the ban on Twitter, citing concerns of political exploitation by the opposition, has generated debate and raised questions about freedom of expression and access to information in Pakistan’s digital age.