ISLAMABAD – Millions of Pakistanis have been hit with the continued shutdown of mobile internet services, with rights organizations and the opposition calling on the authorities to lift restrictions.
Amid the dilemma, the country’s telecom authority said that it had not yet received any directions from the federal government about the restoration of mobile internet services in Pakistan as it slapped a ban on mobile internet in the wake of mass protests that erupted after arrest of former prime minister Imran Khan.
As Pakistanis are looking desperately at the incumbent government to revive internet services, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah cleared the air during his interaction with a local TV channel.
When asked about the restoration, Rana, a key member of Sharif’s cabinet, said the internet services will restore in the country within a day or two, while he linked the suspension with brutal clashes by PTI activists in which several people were killed while hundreds suffered injuries while damage to state infrastructure cost billions to the national exchequer.
عوام شدید پریشان اور لوگوں کے کاروبار کا نقصان۔۔۔ انٹرنیٹ سروسز کب کھلیں گی؟ دیکھئے pic.twitter.com/ZHD9AdDG1m
— Geo News Urdu (@geonews_urdu) May 11, 2023
A statement issued by PTA said internet services were suspended to control the spread of chaos, while access to major social media platforms was imposed.
The South Asian country is already ranked among the world’s worst nations in terms of Internet access, the recent outage was no less than chaotic development. The internet suspension even makes Pakistanis toothless to grab any work on the freelance work platform ‘Fiverr’ which cautioned clients about the unavailability of the internet. Daily wagers, who work on online services like Careem, and FoodPanda remained in dire straits.
Internet disruptions also impacted Pakistani startups, digital creators, and online education projects as well.
Besides the mobile broadband, social media sites including Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are not working for users as people are unable to connect on social platforms.