Pakistan's Internet Shutdown Disrupts Businesses, Inconveniences Netizens, Condemned by Civil Society

Businesses and civil society groups have condemned the internet disruption and social media blackout in Pakistan, calling it a violation of fundamental human rights and an obstacle to economic activity particularly for digital services providers.

The internet was disrupted across the country this week, after former Prime Minister Imran Khan's arrest. The shutdown lasted for 2 days (starting from 9th May), and it had a significant impact on businesses and individuals alike.

Many businesses were forced to close their doors during the shutdown, as they were unable to operate without access to the internet.

Individuals were also affected by the blackout of the internet, as they were unable to access essential communication services, which adversely affected the banking, telecom, healthcare, and education industries. This caused widespread inconvenience and frustration.

The internet shutdown was also condemned by civil society groups, who called it a violation of fundamental rights. They argued that the shutdown was an attempt to stifle dissent and prevent people from exercising their right to freedom of expression.

Critics have argued that the shutdown was an overreaction and that it could have been handled in a more proportionate manner.

The internet shutdown is a reminder of the importance of a free and open internet. It is essential that governments do not use the internet as a tool to suppress dissent or restrict access to information.

Accessnow insists "the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to protect human rights, immediately reinstate access to the internet and social media platforms across the country, and commit to maintaining unrestricted internet access in the future".

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