Islamabad [Pakistan]: YouTube service faced disruptions on multiple internet providers in Pakistan on Sunday during Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s speech in Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh, an internet watchdog reported.
The disruption comes as the former PM made a broadcast to the public, a day after his live speeches were banned by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA). “Confirmed: Metrics corroborate reports of a disruption to YouTube in Pakistan on multiple internet providers; the incident comes as former PM Imran Khan live streams on the platform despite a ban by media regulator PEMRA,” NetBlocks tweeted.
Real-time network data showed the disruption in effect on some but not all mobile and fixed-line internet providers in Pakistan during the live-streamed speech, the watchdog said.
Tensions continue to rise in Pakistan following the booking of the PTI chief under the anti-terror law.
On Sunday, Imran Khan was booked under an anti-terror law for allegedly threatening the additional sessions judge of the federal capital, thereby, escalating the rift between the country’s coalition government and supporters of the former Prime Minister.
Amid the looming threat of arrest on the former Pakistan PM, PTI has drawn their “red line”, warning about severe consequences if the government attempts to arrest Imran Khan.
After reports started making rounds of his possible arrest on Sunday night, a number of supporters converged on Imran Khan’s Bani Gala residence in solidarity with their leader.
In the wee hours of Monday, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry asked his party workers to reach Imran’s Bani Gala residence, saying still dozens of workers were already present at his house.
Addressing the media, another senior PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi informed that he has told their party activists to remain prepared and wait for the party’s call for protest in case of Imran’s arrest.
Qureshi warned that Shehbaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari will be responsible for the consequences if any untoward move was made. “I was told that the street lights of Bani Gala have turned off,” he was quoted as saying by Pakistan media.
“We have to continue our political struggle within the constitutional and legal boundaries,” the former federal minister said as he warned the incumbent government of severe consequences.
The current crisis has resulted from the arrest of PTI leader Shahbaz Gill, who the PTI leaders allege was allegedly tortured by the Islamabad police.
Gill, who is a close aide of Imran Khan, was arrested by the police on August 9 after he made controversial remarks against the Pakistan army on television that were deemed as “highly hateful and seditious” by the country’s media authority.
Pakistan Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said earlier that Imran Khan should get ready to face the law as he verbally threatened the IG, DIG and Magistrate.