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Pakistan Blocks X Social Media Platform Amid Contentious Election


The social media platform X remains out of service in Pakistan for the sixth straight day amid the contentious national elections held on February 8.

Netblocks.org, an internet monitoring group, confirmed the “national-scale disruption” after protests by supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan broke out in the country alleging electoral dishonesty. Authorities reportedly disabled mobile phone and internet services while the polls were open citing ‘security concerns.’

The election results for the 336 parliamentary seats showed Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf party winning the most votes with 31.8 percent of the electorate, and the two main opposition parties receiving almost 38 percent collectively.

Khan was forbidden from standing as a candidate due to his current incarceration on corruption charges. He is additionally prohibited from holding public office for 10 years.

The caretaker government in Islamabad has denied all accusations of voting improprieties.

U.S. State Department spokesperson, Matthew Miller, expressed concerns about the situation, calling upon Pakistani media regulators to, “respect freedom of expression and restore access to a social media that has been restricted including Twitter, now known as X.”

Miller’s sentiment has also been shared by The Committee to Protect Journalists, free speech associations, and human rights organizations.

Officials at the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority have failed to respond to media inquiries regarding the matter.

Related Story: Dozens Killed in Pakistan Bombings Day Before Elections

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