Islamabad (Pakistan) | Jagran News Desk: Amid the ongoing chaos in the country, Imran Khan’s government on Friday suspended all social media platforms – including WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – across Pakistan for four hours. However, the Pakistani government did not mention the reason for the termination of the service.
The action was carried out after a letter was sent to the chairman of the PTA by the ministry of the interior. The ministry, in the letter, has asked the PTA to take action on the matter “immediately”.
“I am directed to refer to the subject quoted above and to state that complete access to social media platforms can be blocked from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 16, 2021, across the country,” wrote Abdul Razaq, the ministry’s section official in the letter.
“It is requested that immediate action be taken on the subject that was informed to this ministry,” he added.
A PTA official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Geo News: “In order to maintain public order and safety, access to certain social media applications has been temporarily restricted.”
However, according to various media reports, social media sites were closed in Lahore because law enforcement agencies expected TLP rioters to take to the streets after Friday prayers.
The TLP is protesting the arrest of their leader Saad Hussain Rizvi, who was detained earlier this week, and the blasphemous caricatures published in France. The protests have turned violent and several casualties have also been reported.
At least three people – including two policemen – have died in the protests, according to Geo News.
The demonstrators demanded that the French ambassador be returned and the import of goods from the country was prohibited.
According to media reports, the Pakistani government of Tehreek-i-Insaf led by Imran Khan signed an agreement with the TLP in November agreeing to expel the French ambassador.
The TLP staged massive protests in November last year against the cartoons, but broke up following a deal with the government to expel the ambassador in February. The deal was extended until April 20.
(With input from ANI)