On Tuesday, 9th May Imran Khan was arrested in Islamabad, and as a reaction there were violent disturbances in many parts of Pakistan, causing some deaths, damage to property and to military installations.
Thereupon the Government shut down internet services in Pakistan, and they have been shut for the last 3 days in Pakistan, causing immense suffering to the people.
Some believe these restrictions may be indefinite
The Government of Pakistan has announced that it will spare no effort in tracking down the perpetrators of the violence on 9th May, and probably the internet services have been shut down as part of this effort, that is. to prevent the miscreants from communicating with each other, and to prevent further protests.
However, in my opinion shutting down internet for tracing and catching the perpetrators of violence, and to prevent further protests, is highly disproportionate, excessive and overblown, and is a classic example of overkill, as it has caused immense suffering to the people. Internet is today not a luxury but a necessity
Pakistan, with a population of about 220 million, has 124 million internet users i. e. about 54% of its population
Why did the Govt impose such a drastic measure ? The protestors were not terrorists, but Imran Khan’s supporters who were carried away by their emotions. The PDM leaders could not have been unaware of the tremendous hardship the shut down would cause to the public.
My own guess is that it was done to please Pakistan’s real ruler, its army. The PDM has little public support, as most Pakistanis regard them as big crooks, and regard Imran Khan as basically honest. So if an election was held today the PDM would be wiped out ( as all opinion polls indicate ). So the PDM is now totally dependant on the army for its survival.
Since army installations were attacked in the recent protests, the PDM wants to please the army by showing it is taking strong action against the perpetrators of these attacks. The PDM couldn’t care less for the terrible suffering of the public by this shut down, as it knows that in any case it has little public support.