News channels go off air, Facebook and YouTube blocked in parts of Pakistan

Published November 25, 2017
Screengrab of a news channel gone off air. —DawnNews
Screengrab of a news channel gone off air. —DawnNews

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Saturday afternoon issued a notification prohibiting live coverage of the operation to end the Faizabad sit-in, following which most private news channels were taken off-air in Islamabad and other parts of the country.

The Pemra notification ordered channels to abide by Clause 8 (8) of the Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisement) Code of Conduct 2015, to show "utmost sensitivity" and refrain from coverage of the operation.

"This channel is suspended on orders of Pemra," read a message appearing on multiple news channels.

Additionally, Facebook, YouTube, DailyMotion, Twitter and Instagram have been blocked in some parts of the country. No notice has been issued about this development.

There are reports that the federal government is mulling temporarily suspending mobile phone signals – a now-common practice during security situations.

Later, Twitter also acknowledged that the social media website had been blocked in Pakistan by the government and assured its users that the company was "monitoring the situation". In a tweet, the Twitter Public Policy account hoped that the service in the country would be restored soon.

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