AVN 48.21 Increased By ▲ 0.81 (1.71%)
BAFL 28.88 Increased By ▲ 0.28 (0.98%)
BOP 3.76 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-0.53%)
CNERGY 3.33 Increased By ▲ 0.16 (5.05%)
DFML 10.93 Decreased By ▼ -0.07 (-0.64%)
DGKC 52.81 Decreased By ▼ -0.88 (-1.64%)
EPCL 43.09 Increased By ▲ 0.40 (0.94%)
FCCL 12.43 Increased By ▲ 0.18 (1.47%)
FFL 6.02 Decreased By ▼ -0.01 (-0.17%)
FLYNG 5.97 Increased By ▲ 0.06 (1.02%)
GGL 10.34 Increased By ▲ 0.19 (1.87%)
HUBC 68.96 Decreased By ▼ -0.44 (-0.63%)
HUMNL 5.85 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (0.86%)
KAPCO 22.72 Increased By ▲ 0.57 (2.57%)
KEL 1.83 Increased By ▲ 0.03 (1.67%)
LOTCHEM 29.81 Increased By ▲ 0.89 (3.08%)
MLCF 28.70 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
NETSOL 75.21 Increased By ▲ 1.11 (1.5%)
OGDC 78.47 Decreased By ▼ -0.04 (-0.05%)
PAEL 9.74 Increased By ▲ 0.42 (4.51%)
PIBTL 4.26 Decreased By ▼ -0.06 (-1.39%)
PPL 61.28 Decreased By ▼ -0.37 (-0.6%)
PRL 15.06 Increased By ▲ 0.70 (4.87%)
SILK 1.08 Decreased By ▼ -0.03 (-2.7%)
SNGP 42.62 Decreased By ▼ -0.61 (-1.41%)
TELE 6.95 Increased By ▲ 0.08 (1.16%)
TPLP 11.97 Increased By ▲ 0.03 (0.25%)
TRG 96.97 Increased By ▲ 1.52 (1.59%)
UNITY 13.49 Increased By ▲ 0.24 (1.81%)
WTL 1.15 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
BR100 4,193 Increased By 27.2 (0.65%)
BR30 14,439 Increased By 36.2 (0.25%)
KSE100 41,923 Increased By 255.5 (0.61%)
KSE30 14,873 Increased By 74.3 (0.5%)
Follow us

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Imran Khan accused the government Wednesday of “unacceptable” censorship after authorities apparently blocked national access to YouTube to prevent a rally speech from being broadcast live.

Khan retains widespread support despite his April ousting and has staged mass rallies across the country calling for early elections and railing against the government.

His speeches frequently draw top ratings on television, with highlights trending on social media in Pakistan.

On Tuesday night, however, YouTube was down across much of the country as Khan addressed a rally in Peshawar, with London-based internet outage monitor Netblocks confirming the disruption.

“Access was restored after the speech concluded,” Netblocks told AFP.

YouTube has not commented on the matter, while a representative of the Pakistan Telecoms Authority said they had “no idea about it”.

Last month the government’s media regulatory body banned Khan’s speeches from being broadcast live, on the grounds they were inciting unrest, but this week the high court ruled the order illegal. Still, no TV channels broadcast Tuesday’s speech.

On Wednesday Khan accused the government of censoring him, saying the move would damage the country’s reputation.

“They are imposing complete blackout of my speeches not only from mainstream media but also by blocking YouTube,” he tweeted. “This fascist govt of cabal of crooks & their backers are willing to harm the interests of Pakistan simply out of fear of (his party) PTI’s soaring popularity. Utterly callous & unacceptable.”

Last month ARY News, a pro-Khan television station critical of the current government, was taken off air but a court last week also ordered the ruling illegal.

Another private TV channel, Bol News, was suspended last week — ostensibly for operating with an expired licence — and insisted later it was being “punished for showing what the government doesn’t like”.

Free speech campaigners have long criticised the creeping censorship and control of Pakistan’s internet, printed and electronic media.

“It is digital martial law,” said Usama Khilji, a digital rights activist.

Khan is due in court on Thursday for a hearing on one of a slew of cases and charges brought against him since he was booted from office by a vote of no confidence in the national assembly.


1000 characters

Imran Khan accuses govt of ‘unacceptable censorship’

Rupee falls against US dollar in inter-bank, but gains in open market

Pakistan proposes inflation target of 21% in estimates for upcoming FY24 budget: report

Zille Shah case: LHC confirms Imran’s pre-arrest bail

CJP Bandial questions if govt has ‘utilised resources’ to trace those behind audio leaks

LHC orders Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s immediate release

Pro-agriculture budget expected by brokerage house

Oil falls as economic fears overshadow Saudi output cut

Flood-hit Pakistanis still waiting on promised rebuild

IMF says immigration can help UK cut inflation

Twitter’s new CEO Linda Yaccarino logs first day in role