The Sindh High Court (SHC) has issued a directive on Wednesday, instructing the government and the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) to ensure uninterrupted internet access until February 8, the scheduled date for the general elections in the country.

The order came from a two-member bench led by SHC Chief Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi, following a petition filed by lawyer and independent candidate Jibran Nasir. The petition addressed the recent “unconstitutional” internet outages experienced across the country in the past month.

Jibran took to X (former Twitter) and said, “SHC has directed PTA and Govt to ensure smooth uninterrupted access to Internet till Election Day 8th Feb to ensure no further pre poll rigging happens and any rigging attempts on Election Day can also be reported through social media.”


“This is not just stopping the PTI from contesting free and fair elections — which is pre-poll rigging — but is also hindering the way of independent candidates like me,” he stated, highlighting that the internet and social media were efficient and cost-effective platforms to reach out to voters.

Notably, three nationwide disruptions occurred on December 17, January 7, and January 20, coinciding with virtual events organized by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on social media platforms. The PTI had recently approached the Supreme Court, urging it to take notice of the suspension of internet services and the blocking of social media websites.

During a press conference earlier in the week, caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi attributed the outages to “technical” issues and system installations. He also stated that there was “no guarantee” such incidents wouldn’t occur in the future.

In Nasir’s petition, the PTA, the federal government, and the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications were named as respondents. Nasir argued that the act of shutting down mobile internet and broadband services should be declared as “unconstitutional, illegal, disproportionate, unreasonable, and without lawful authority.”

The plea further sought the immediate restoration of access to social media platforms and the suspension of any directives restricting access to social media until the conclusion of the general elections.

In response to the petition, the SHC issued notices to the respondents and directed authorities to ensure uninterrupted internet access until the general elections on February 8. The hearing has been adjourned until January 29.

Read more: PTA warns of possible internet disruption in next 90 days