Following the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan in Pakistan, the government restricted the country’s access to social media in a bid to control resistance. The arrest sparked protests across the country, with images of tear-gassed demonstrators quickly going viral.
The Pakistan government swiftly shut down social media sites, resulting in full connectivity outages in some areas, with internet speeds being throttled elsewhere. The blackouts did not come as a surprise to many people, with some using VPNs to bypass the restrictions. The move to limit online access to information was a gross violation of human rights, according
to Nighat Dad, who runs the Digital Rights Foundation in Lahore. The practice has become
more common since Khan was removed from office in April 2022. For the current rulers of
Pakistan, the action has a significant impact on public access to healthcare, emergency, and
financial services, with millions relying on the internet to earn a living.