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Election 2024

PTA Head Clarifies Internet Shutdown Post-Election

PTA Head Clarifies Internet Shutdown Post-Election

Hafeezur Rehman, a retired major general from the Pakistan Army now serving as chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), stated on Tuesday that the internet shutdown during the general elections in Pakistan was due to “security threats.”

Speaking to a local news outlet, Rehman mentioned that he became aware of the security concerns on the election day (Feb 8) during a meeting at Interior Secretary Aftab Durrani’s office at 5:00 am. He noted, “We received orders to shut down the internet [that day], and we also formally tweeted about it.”

Read more: US Urges Free Internet Access as X Blocked In Pakistan

Rehman expressed his intention to address the closure of the social media platform X with the interior ministry. He emphasized the need for clarity on the matter or for someone to take responsibility. Rehman highlighted that decisions regarding the closure of social media platforms are typically directed by the interior ministry.

Regarding inquiries about instructions to shut down X in the country, the PTA chairman mentioned existing confusion. He mentioned querying his staff about his functioning internet despite not using a VPN.

Rehman clarified that the PTA had not received any written directives from the interior ministry regarding the closure of X. In response to Information Minister Attaullah Tarar’s acknowledgment of X service disruption by the caretaker government, Rehman suggested that Tarar should be questioned if he possesses any information regarding the X closure.