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Pakistan Sindh

Sindh Court Bars Pre-Election Internet Shutdown By PTA

Sindh Court Bars Pre-Election Internet Shutdown By PTA

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has issued a crucial directive, ordering continuous internet access for all citizens until the upcoming general elections on February 8. In an order released on Wednesday, the high court explicitly forbade the authorities from suspending internet services and instructed relevant parties to submit their responses by January 29.

The initiative to file a petition with the SHC addressing the recurring issue of internet service suspensions within the country was taken by Jibran Nasir, an advocate and committed human rights activist.

Read more: Pakistan Restores Internet Services Post Technical Fault, Confirms PTA

With political campaigns intensifying in anticipation of the upcoming elections scheduled for the following month, users have encountered multiple instances of internet disruptions in recent days. Notably, there was a second occurrence of social media platform outages on January 20th, affecting platforms such as Facebook, X, Instagram, and YouTube.

Following an extensive disruption just last week, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) attributed the nationwide internet outage to a “technical fault” within its optic fiber network. The PTA shared a statement on X, stating, “The recent disruption in internet services was caused by a technical fault, which has been promptly rectified. Internet services have been fully restored nationwide.”

Rthe global web outage tracker indicated that the outage not only affected Google services but also impacted the operations of the internet service provider PTCL.

Advocate Jibran Nasir highlighted that these outages are consistently targeted at censoring Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) election campaigns and emphasized that the party deserves a fair shot at the looming general elections.