PESHAWAR: PTI supporters gesture as they listen to Imran Khan’s speech on Tuesday.—White Star
PESHAWAR: PTI supporters gesture as they listen to Imran Khan’s speech on Tuesday.—White Star

ISLAMABAD: As PTI Chairman Imran Khan was about to address a rally in Peshawar on Tuesday evening, YouTube became inaccessible at most of the Inter­net Service Providers or ISP.

Several users complained that they were having issues accessing the popular video streaming platform, particularly on the web.

NetBlocks — a company tracking internet network disruptions and shutdowns — confirmed that the service was disrupted in the country.

“Metrics corroborate rep­orts of a new disruption to YouTube in Pakistan, the incident comes as former PM Imran Khan appears on screen to live stream a speech on the platform, following a pattern observed in August,” the company said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, digital rights activist Usama Khilji also confirmed the reports that the service was inaccessible for some users.

He added that the PTA was blocking the service “at the gateway level” using Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) technology.

The PTA had acquired DPI from Canadian company, Sandvine, allowing it to directly block websites, without directing the ISPs to do so, according to Mr Khilji.

Talking to Dawn, Punjab IT minister Dr Arslan Khalid said that Mr Khan’s live speeches are banned on electronic media, and it is usually witnessed that when he addresses the public, YouTube is made unavailable in the country.

Calling it a “major loss for the economy” Mr Khalid added such disruptions wea­ken investors’ confidence as they become wary of inconsistent government policies.

Former information minister Chaudhary Fawad Hussain also crticised the action, saying that the country has been “officially turned into a banana republic”.

Not only the PTI leaders, but PPP Secretary General Farhatullah Babar also expressed his reservations over the move, and said: “A man may be imprisoned but not an idea.”

This is not the first time the the service faced disruption around the same time as PTI chief’s address On Aug 21, when Mr Khan was addressing a rally in Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh, YouTube faced disruptions.

NetBlocks’ analysis showed that the website was accessible on only a handful of networks.

Published in Dawn, September 7th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Reforming militants
24 Jul, 2024

Reforming militants

Such initiatives have been tried before, in Swat for instance, at centres run by the military as well as NGOs.
IPP debate
24 Jul, 2024

IPP debate

A FIERCE debate blaming the exorbitant electricity prices on expensive power purchase agreements with IPPs has been...
Political vendettas
24 Jul, 2024

Political vendettas

IT seems that the PML-N and PPP need to be reminded again that they are doing themselves a considerable disservice ...
Security concerns
23 Jul, 2024

Security concerns

All stakeholders want what is best for the country and its people; their differing approaches shouldn’t be viewed with such suspicion all the time.
Frankfurt vandalism
23 Jul, 2024

Frankfurt vandalism

THE state needs to seek serious answers from the German authorities regarding the July 20 mob attack targeting...
Stressed cotton economy
23 Jul, 2024

Stressed cotton economy

DECREASING cotton production should be a worry for the government because of its socioeconomic implications. Early...