Pakistan temporarily shuts down social media amid anti-France protests

Pakistan temporarily shuts down social media amid anti-France protests
Pakistan has shut down social media sites due to violent anti-France protests in the country.IANS
  • Pakistan has temporarily shut down social media in the country.
  • The blocking of these platforms comes amid violent anti-France protests in the country.
  • In addition to platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram have also been blocked.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in an order has temporarily shut down social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and WhatsApp in the country amid the ongoing anti-France protests.

The shutdown of social media was ordered by the Interior Ministry which is responsible for implementing the internal policies, state security and administration of internal affairs. The ministry ordered “complete blocking” of Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, YouTube, TikTok and Telegram till 3 p.m. on April 16. Some media reports suggested that the suspension might be for a longer duration.

The protests began earlier this month after French President Emmanuel Macron backed satirical magazine's right to republish cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad.

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Followers of far-right Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a group that supports the country's controversial blasphemy laws, have blocked roads and choked streets at deadly protests that started on Monday, reports the dpa news agency.

The protesters are demanding that the government fulfil an earlier promise to expel the French Ambassador by April 20 over the publication of a cartoon depicting the prophet last year.

The move comes just a day after France advised its citizens in Pakistan to temporarily leave the country. At least five people including two police officers have been killed in the protests so far.

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"Social media has been blocked for a few hours so that troublemakers cannot use it during Friday prayers congregations," an official told dpa.

With inputs from IANS.

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