Social media websites Facebook and Twitter and video-sharing sites YouTube and Dailymotion will remain blocked until the law and order situation is improved in the country, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority said on Saturday.
The PTA said the reason behind blocking access to these websites was the reaction of Pakistan social media users following the Islamabad operation that was launched on the orders of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to quell the over fortnight-long sit-in.
The telecom authority further said that there had been no instructions to block cell phone services so far. However, the government is mulling to restrict the mobile services as well, as it has become a common practice during sensitive security situations.
In an attempt to keep the information blackout intact, the authorities also blocked these websites as people rely on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube for information, along with private TV channels.
In the afternoon of the same day, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) issued a notification prohibiting live coverage of the operation to end the Faizabad sit-in, following which most private news channels were taken off-air in Islamabad and other parts of the country.
The Pemra notification ordered channels to abide by Clause 8 (8) of the Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisement) Code of Conduct 2015, to show “utmost sensitivity” and refrain from coverage of the operation, as it could provoke the people.
“This channel is suspended on orders of PEMRA,” one can see a static screen appearing on multiple news channels.