Claim: Internet was shut down for people in various parts of Pakistan in order to suppress the coverage of Imran Khan’s PTI rallies

Fact: The internet was not shut down but there is evidence of internet ‘throttling’ by internet service providers throughout the country

On May 25, several social media users took to Twitter to condemn the government’s “draconian” decision to shut down the internet. Popular personalities came out on Twitter, with their verified accounts with millions of followers and announced that the federal government has decided to shut down the internet, in light of the escalating tensions in Islamabad and to avoid social media coverage of Imran Khan’s rally.


Internet throttling is when your internet service providers limit the speed or bandwidth of your internet without taking your consent or informing you. In some cases, throttling also helps manage an unusual amount of traffic on the internet in order to equally distribute the bandwidth.

However, this is false.

Several people also tweeted that they had internet services available. However, everyone noted varying speeds at different times in the day. At The Current Check‘s office, we faced internet slowdowns throughout the day, but it was never shutdown.

Hija Kamran, digital rights advocate working at Media Matters for Democracy, tweeted asking people in Pakistan to confirm whether their internet is working fine and several people reported operational internet in Karachi and Islamabad, others claimed that they were facing issues in internet speed.

An internet observatory organization called Net Blocks released a report on the same day confirming “disruptions” in the internet across Pakistan. However, according to their report these disruptions only lasted for two hours within the whole day, which does not even come close to the claim that the internet was shut down.\

In their report, NetBlocks confirms that disruptions were faced by multiple internet service providers across Paksitan after 5pm on Wednesday, May 25. The service was restored within two hours, following the surge in complaints being posted on social media about the internet being throttled by ISPs across the country.

NetBlocks used “diffscans”, a tool which allowed them to map the IP address space of Pakistan in real time and display corresponding internet connectivity levels and outages, which are represented in the graph attached in their tweet.

Verdict: FALSE