The Pakistan government on Friday ordered an hours-long shut down of social media and instant messaging platforms, after days of violent anti-France protests.
In a notice to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, the Interior Ministry requested a “complete blocking” of Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, YouTube and Telegram until 3pm.
It gave no reason for the ban, but it comes a day after French nationals and companies in Pakistan were advised by their embassy to temporarily leave in the wake of the rallies led by an extremist party that paralysed large parts of the country and left two police officers dead.
Thousands of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan supporters spilled onto the streets after their leader was detained Tuesday following his calls for the expulsion of the French ambassador.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government has struggled to bring Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan to heel over the years, but this week announced an outright ban against the group, effectively labelling it a terrorist outfit.