Pakistan’s nationwide internet outage ‘remarkably systematic’, says expert
Pakistan’s social media and internet services were severely throttled Saturday night, as former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s political party held a “virtual rally” ahead of the general elections. However, this isn’t first time that Pakistanis have complained of internet disruption ahead of any such rally by the opposition party.
Internet monitor Netblocks posted on X, “Live metrics show a nation-scale disruption to social media platforms across #Pakistan, including X/Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube; the incident comes as persecuted opposition leader Imran Khan’s political party, PTI, launches its second virtual gathering.”
Responding to the agency’s confirmation, the PTI said, “Shame on the caretakers that are causing damage to Pakistanis only.”
A similar disruption occurred on January 7 and December 17 as the PTI held a virtual fundraising telethon.
The general elections in Pakistan are scheduled to be held on February 8. Jailed Imran Khan and many prominent PTI candidates have been barred from standing for election, and in-person campaigning has been thwarted by a crackdown forcing party leaders to defect or go underground.
Nonetheless, a Gallup Pakistan survey taken in December confirmed Khan is the nation’s most popular politician.
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