KARACHI: Viewers across several parts of Karachi and Hyderabad complained Saturday that they were unable to receive news channels on their cable TV connections for over two hours.

It was unclear why or how the channels had been taken off air, or who had asked cable operators to do so.

Officials of the Cable Operators Association of Pakistan were unavailable for comment regarding the temporary closure.

Readers told Dawn through social media that all local news channels went off-air around 330 pm in several areas in Karachi including Federal B Area, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, DHA, Gulshan, Clifton, PECHS, and other neighbourhoods.

In a message posted on Twitter, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memom claimed that cable operators had been threatened by a certain “mafia”, and that the Sindh government would ensure their safety.

People took to Twitter to tell each other of the outage.

Around 630 pm, viewers reported that news channels had been restored on their cable TV connections in several areas – including DHA, Gulistan-i-Jauhar, North Karachi, Gulshan, Clifton, and other areas – after almost three hours of the mysterious closure.