Pakistan experiences nationwide internet outage, social media blackout; PTI’s manifesto launch disrupted

NEW DELHI: In a significant setback for Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), a complete blackout of social media sites swept across the country on Sunday, severely impacting the party’s plans to launch its manifesto and raise funds through a telethon, as reported by Pakistan-based Dawn.
This incident marked the second time in recent months that internet services were disrupted during an online event planned by PTI.On December 17, PTI’s virtual power show also faced challenges due to disruptions in internet services.
Many social media users were unable to participate in the online event, which was intended to showcase PTI’s manifesto. Internet tracking agency Netblocks stated, “Live metrics show a nation-scale disruption to social media platforms across Pakistan, including X/Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.”
PTI spokesperson Raoof Hasan acknowledged the anticipated restrictions on social media and urged supporters to join through social media sites. However, after online disruptions, the party recommended the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for access. The PTI-recommended VPN required a subscription fee of Pakistan Rupees (PKR) 1,999 per month.
Despite the challenges, PTI managed to host a portion of the online event on YouTube, moderated by Ali Malik and Jibran Ilyas, with over 7,000 participants. By 10:20 pm local time, the party reported collecting USD 44,000 and PKR 30 million.
PTI chairman Barrister Gohar Khan addressed the audience, conveying a message on behalf of the party’s founder, Imran Khan, who is currently incarcerated in Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi. Gohar Khan emphasized Imran Khan‘s commitment to protecting citizens’ rights and working towards a democratic Pakistan.
Senator Sania Nishtar, speaking during the event, highlighted the PTI government’s initiatives, including 16 social welfare programs, health cards, a cash transfer program, and measures to address child stunting.
Despite the challenges posed by the internet outage, PTI reiterated its dedication to achieving its goals for the country.

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