Sindh High Court Restrains PTA and Government from Internet Shutdowns Leading Up to Elections

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has issued a crucial directive, ordering the uninterrupted availability of internet services for all citizens until the upcoming general elections on February 8. In a recent order, the high court explicitly prohibited authorities from suspending internet services and mandated relevant parties to respond by January 29. The directive comes in response to concerns raised by advocate and human rights activist Jibran Nasir, who filed a petition addressing the recurring issue of internet service disruptions in the country.

 

As the political campaigns intensify ahead of the elections, there have been multiple instances of internet disruptions, with a notable occurrence of social media platform outages on January 20. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) attributed the nationwide internet outage to a “technical fault” in its optic fiber network, which has since been rectified. 

 

Advocate Jibran Nasir highlighted the targeted nature of these outages, suggesting a connection to election campaigns, particularly those of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. The court’s directive aims to ensure a fair electoral process by preventing internet disruptions.