Internet Shutdown In Pakistan As Imran Khan’s PTI Prepares For Online Campaign

The social media services across Pakistan were severely disrupted as former PM Imran Khan’s PTI has decided to launch a massive online campaign.

Pakistan ousted PM Imran Khan in custody.

Internet services were disrupted in Pakistan overnight as the political party of ousted PM Imran Khan prepared to launch an online campaign ahead of elections scheduled next month.

Social media services across Pakistan were severely disrupted as former PM Imran Khan’s party— Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI)  has decided to launch a massive online campaign, AFP reported.

Khan and most senior leaders of his PTI have been rejected as candidates for the February 8 vote in what they say is a campaign by the military-led establishment to thwart their participation.

Imran Khan’s party had planned a massive national and global telethon Sunday evening to launch its manifesto and raise campaign funds, but internet disruptions started from early evening in the country, the report said.

"The incident is consistent with previous social media filtering events which have all been imposed during opposition party rallies or speeches by opposition leader Imran Khan," said the report quoted Netblocks, a watchdog organization that monitors cybersecurity and internet governance as saying.

The disruptions were affecting network providers across the country, the report quoted Netblocks Director Alp Toker as saying.

The Human Rights Council of Pakistan condemned the disruption as "a violation of international law", it mentioned.

‘Jailed’ Imran Khan:

Khan, 71, was ousted last year after falling out with Pakistan's powerful military leaders who backed him into power in 2018.

In opposition, he waged an unprecedented campaign of defiance against the military establishment which has directly ruled the nation for much of its history.

Khan accused them of engineering his removal from office in a no-confidence vote via a US-backed conspiracy, and of plotting an assassination attempt that saw him wounded.

After Khan's brief detention in May sparked unrest, PTI has been the subject of a widespread crackdown, with leading figures either jailed or forced to leave the party.