Islamabad: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Wednesday said that internet services across the country will remain suspended for an indefinite period.
The telecommunication authority confirmed that the decision to block mobile broadband services was taken on the directives of the Ministry of Interior.
A day earlier, the services were shut down as protests erupted after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest in Al-Qadir Trust case, Geo news reports.
Moreover, major social media sites including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are also reportedly down for many users in Pakistan as they are unable to access these platforms since yesterday.
Videos of violent protests were shared widely on social media platforms after unrest flared up following the former prime minister’s arrest, after which mobile broadband services were blocked.
The PTA spokesperson had said that the regulatory authority was also receiving reports of social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, being down. However, these reports could not be confirmed, she added.
Sources told local media that “unwarranted” clips of the protests were shared on social media after which various platforms started experiencing disruptions around 8pm on Tuesday, causing problems for citizens.
Khan was arrested from the premises of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) a day earlier by Rangers personnel in connection with a warrant issued by the National Accountability Bureau in the Al-Qadir Trust case.
Following his arrest, the PTI urged supporters all across Pakistan to protest and “block all roads, close all shops”.
Subsequently, PTI workers held protests in several cities, including Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Multan, Peshawar, and Mardan.
Protesters also caused damage to public property in other cities, including Rawalpindi and Lahore.
Hours later, many users in Pakistan reported that they were unable to access social media sites in the evening.
Moreover, as per media reports, internet speed is also slow for many users across the country.