The government has suspended mobile internet services in several cities of the country, including Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad, on account of the ongoing operation against the banned religious party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).

Sources in the Telecom Industry said that the decision of suspending cellular phone services was taken on the directives of the federal government and other law enforcement agencies. “Lahore is the most affected city as the cellular services were not being provided in most areas of the city,” a source said.

People living in Gulberg, Shadman, Cantt, Muslim Town, Harbanspura, and other areas of the city are facing internet outages. PTCL and StormFiber internet services, however, are still functional.

In Karachi, the cellular services have been blocked at I I Chundrigar Road, Landhi area, and Bolden Market where the TLP’s protest was going on.

The source claimed that all telecom operators, including Jazz, Zong, Ufone and Telenor, were told to suspend their services in affected areas in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad and other cities where the situation was still not under control.

People said the authorities should have announced in advance to avoid inconvenience to hundreds of thousands of consumers.

On Monday, countrywide protests broke out following the arrest of TLP chief Saad Rizvi. Several offices and organisations were forced to close early on account of the intensity of the protests, with several workers stranded in offices.

The massive round of demonstrations came as a result of taking Rizvi into pre-emptive custody ahead of the 20 April deadline for the group’s demands to be put forth to the parliament. The government subsequently banned the TLP and started a crackdown on its leadership.

According to an agreement with the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan, the PTI government had to put their demands to the parliament which included policies like “expelling the French ambassador, severing ties with France and boycotting French products”, within three months through parliament.


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