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Internet Services Still Down in Azad Kashmir Despite Return to Normalcy

Despite the resumption of normal life in Azad Kashmir, the suspension of internet service continues to create significant difficulties for the citizens.

The ongoing disruption has created widespread inconvenience, affecting communication, business, and access to information.

Internet service was initially suspended on Sunday, May 12, in response to a protest led by the Joint Action Committee. The protest, which began on May 11, saw significant public participation.

On May 13, after the government agreed to the protesters’ demands, internet service was briefly restored. However, following a deadly clash between the paramilitary Rangers and local youth in Muzaffarabad, which resulted in the deaths of three young men, the situation escalated, leading to another suspension of internet service.

NetBlocks, an internet observatory organization, reported, ‘Network data show that the internet disruption in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, is ongoing as authorities crack down on protests amid reports of rising casualties;
service was briefly restored during negotiations on Monday but shut down again after deadly clashes.’

The funeral prayers for the youths who died in the Rangers’ firing were held in Muzaffarabad yesterday. Following the funeral, protesters peacefully departed to their respective areas. However, the restoration of the internet service remains pending, adding to the citizens’ frustration.

When contacted for a comment, the spokesperson for the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) did not respond.

However, PTA sources indicated that the decision to suspend the internet service was made by the Ministry of Interior at the request of the Azad Kashmir government. The suspension was attributed to security concerns, and any timeframe for restoration would be provided by the Azad Kashmir government or the Ministry of Interior.

Source: Pro Pakistani