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Sunday January 29, 2023

YouTube briefly blocked amid Imran Khan’s speech in Rawalpindi

The video-sharing platform confirmed reports of the blockage after users from Pakistan complained on Twitter

By Web Desk
August 22, 2022
A representational image of YouTubes logo being clicked on a computer screen. — AFP/File
A representational image of YouTube's logo being clicked on a computer screen. — AFP/File

An internet tracking website NetBlocks on Sunday confirmed reports of YouTube being “briefly” blocked on multiple internet providers during PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s speech in Rawalpindi.

“NetBlocks metrics confirm the disruption of YouTube on multiple internet providers in Pakistan on Sunday 21 August 2022,” a statement issued by the watchdog read.

However, “real-time network data” showed that the disruption was seen on some but not all mobile and fixed-line internet providers in Pakistan during the live-streamed speech, as stated by NetBlocks.

The watchdog further shared that the “access was restored after the speech concluded”.

The move comes as a report published in The News revealed that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority is planning to curb PTI coverage on social media after Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) imposed a ban on live coverage of Imran Khan's speeches.

YouTube's blocking was also confirmed by the Google-owned platform through its Twitter account “@TeamYouTube” after some users from Pakistan tagged the video-sharing company on the micro-blogging site with complaints of blockage.

On the contrary, PTI 's chief said the move to block his speech midway on the video-sharing platform showed the “desperation of those who for their self-interest are willing to push Pakistan towards political and economic chaos”.

“After PEMRA blocked live transmission of my Pindi jalsa speech on TV channels, imported government blocked YouTube midway through my speech. This just shows the desperation of those who for their self-interest are willing to push Pakistan towards political and economic chaos,” the PTI chief wrote in his tweet.

But access of the website was not blocked for everyone.

'Transparent elections are only solution'

During his address to his party's rally in Rawalpindi's Liaquat Bagh, PTI chairperson Imran Khan reiterated that the only solution to bring the country out of a political crisis is transparent elections.

"I am here today to begin my fight for real freedom," he said.

The former prime minister alleged that the coalition government is hatching a plan to crush his party, saying that they are afraid that he would take a two-thirds majority if elections are held.

"Was I doing money laundering or buying houses outside of Pakistan? I only wanted an independent foreign policy," he said while lamenting about his ouster.

The former premier said that he was ousted because he didn't want Pakistan to take America's orders.

"I did not want Pakistan to be a part of America's war or its involvement in any activity by the USA in Afghanistan," he added. Khan said that the country was led to destruction just for a few dollars.