Mobile Data Services Disconnected in Select Localities Amidst Nationwide Protests

Islamabad, April 19, 2021: User reports indicate that mobile data has been disconnected in select locations across different cities in the wake of the recent protests by proscribed organization Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan. This coincided with the government-ordered blockage of various social media apps on April 16 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. 

According to sources contacted by DRM, the Ministry of Interior made the decision to temporarily restrict access to social media in order to “maintain the law and order situation.”

According to a media report, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), on directions from the Ministry of Interior, asked telecom companies to restrict voice and data, or just the data in some cases, across select locations in major cities of the country, including in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Peshawar, among other cities. The government ordered telecoms to keep mobile data services suspended in some areas till further notice, which means that the closure of services is for a longer period of time.

On April 15, Zong confirmed to a Twitter user that telecom operators had been directed by the government to suspend mobile data services in different areas of the country.

According to a user report, mobile data remained blocked in Lahore for four consecutive days, allegedly on orders from PTA.

Around the beginning of the protests on April 14, users from Karachi and other cities expressed concern about the loss of mobile data services.

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