Social media was blackout in Pakistan on Friday amid fears that activists of a radical Islamist group might use the social media to stoke violent protests against France for last year incident of depiction of the Prophet Muhammad in France.
Members of far-right Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), the same group that supports Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws, have blocked roads and chocked streets at deadly protests that started on Monday.
The protesters are demanding that the Government of Pakistan fulfil their earlier promise to expel the French Ambassador by 20th April over the publication of a cartoon depicting the holy prophet last year.
At least 5 people and 2 police officers have been killed in the protests. These protests have prompted the France Embassy in Islamabad to urge French nationals to leave Pakistan temporarily.
According to the officials ‘Social media has been blocked for a few hours so that troublemakers cannot use it during Friday prayers congregations.
Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter and TikTok are inaccessible across the country, including the capital Islamabad.
In Pakistan Islamist groups and militant organizations like Pakistani Taliban mainly depends on social media platforms to connect with their followers.