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Pakistan

SHC directs govt, PTA to ensure uninterrupted internet access till election day

  • Development comes after three nationwide disruptions in access to social media platforms in last few weeks
Published January 24, 2024

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday directed the government and the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) to ensure uninterrupted internet access till February 8 polls.

The court passed this order on a petition filed by an independent candidate Jibran Nasir who is also a lawyer and civil rights activist.

“…Sindh High Court on my petition today as an Independent Candidate and citizen has taken notice of the repeated internet and social media disruptions caused by PTA which appear to target #PTI but also causes loss to all candidates, businesses and citizens at large.

“SHC has directed PTA and Govt to ensure smooth uninterrupted access to Internet till Election Day 8th Feb to ensure no further pre poll rigging happens and any rigging attempts on Election Day can also be reported through social media,” he wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

The development comes after nationwide disruptions in access to social media platforms in last few weeks.

“Live metrics show a nation-scale disruption to social media platforms across Pakistan, including X, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube,” internet tracking agency NetBlocks said in a post on January 7.

On January 20, the agency again reported a nationwide disruption in access to social media platforms amid the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf decision to hold a virtual election gathering.

The PTA stated later that the disruption was caused by a “technical fault”.

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