Social media platforms partially restored after temporary shutdown in Pakistan

Social media platforms and messaging services were blocked from 11 am to 3 pm after protests

Pakistan government decided to shut social media platforms and messaging services in the country from 11 am to 3 pm to maintain the law and order situation on the first Friday of Ramadan amid calls of protests from radical groups.

After 3 pm, citizens began reporting that the online platforms were partially accessible.

The Ministry of Interior directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on April 16 to temporarily block access to these social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube and Telegram.

“In order to maintain public order and safety, access to certain social media applications has been restricted temporarily” PTA said.

Following the announcement, a major internet service provider Nayatel said in a message to its customers that social media platforms had been blocked on the directions of the PTA.

The move comes after violent anti-French protests by the ultra-right-wing Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party whose supporters were involved in inciting and resorting to violence across the country for the past three days. The party has since then been declared a proscribed organization under the country’s anti-terrorism law.

Earlier, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) banned the media coverage of the proscribed TLP.

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