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Pakistan

Imran Khan accuses govt of blocking YouTube during his speech

  • Video-streaming platform had faced disruptions earlier in the evening on Sunday
Published August 22, 2022
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KARACHI: Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan accused the government of temporarily blocking YouTube in the country on Sunday evening to prevent people from listening live to a speech he gave at a political rally.

The accusation came after Pakistan's electronic media regulator late on Saturday announced a ban on the live airing of Imran's speeches. According to the declaration issued by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), “the PTI chairman is levelling baseless allegations against the institutions so his live speeches are being banned under section 27 of the Pemra ordinance 2002”.

"Imported govt blocked YouTube midway through my speech," Imran said on Twitter.

A spokesman for the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), which regulates the internet in the country, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Imran Khan steps up pressure on ‘neutrals’

Imran has been pushing for new elections in Pakistan after being ousted from power in April through a parliamentary vote. He has been delivering fiery speeches at gatherings across the country.

'Provocative statements'

"Mr. Imran Khan... in his speeches/statements is continuously ... leveling baseless allegations and spreading hate speech through his provocative statements against state institutions," Pemra said in its statement on Saturday.

It added it was, with immediate effect, prohibiting news channels from broadcasting his speeches live, but said recorded speeches could be aired.

Imran's speeches were "prejudicial to the maintenance of law and order and likely to disturb public peace and tranquility", PEMRA added.

Pemra places ban on live speeches of Imran Khan

PTI had said shortly after it would go live on "500+ YouTube and Facebook channels".

However, many social media users around Pakistan reported problems in accessing YouTube when Imran was about to address a gathering on Sunday evening in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

Imran said in his speech on Sunday that he was being censored for not accepting the current coalition government which had voted him out of power.

The television ban came a day after he also hurled threats against Islamabad's police chief and a female judge for what he claimed was the arrest and alleged torture of his close aide who is facing sedition charges.

On Sunday Islamabad police also booked Imran for threatening police officials and a judicial magistrate under sections of the anti-terrorism act.

The first information report (FIR), a copy of which is available with Business Recorder, was registered at Islamabad’s Margalla police station at 10pm on Saturday under the complaint of magistrate Ali Javed.

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