Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube were suspended in parts of Pakistan hours after former Prime Minister Imran Khan was arrested at the Islamabad High Court on Tuesday.
The sudden arrest sparked massive protests across Pakistan, with Mr Khan’s supporters clashing with police and even storming the Pakistan Army’s headquarters in Rawalpindi. Police used water cannons and fired tear gas to disperse the protesters, including workers from Mr Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.
As the protests turned violent, social media disruptions were reported across the country. According to outage tracking website DownDetector, hundreds of users in Pakistan have complained of problems accessing YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
Independent journalists and Pakistan news media also flagged social media disruptions.
A video of the dramatic arrest of the former prime minister went viral on social media during the day. A large number of paramilitary personnel captured Mr. Khan and took him away in an armored vehicle.
The video, uploaded by PTI’s Twitter handle, was widely shared and called upon supporters to hit the streets and protest against the leader’s arrest.
Islamabad police said Imran Khan was arrested in the Qadir Trust case, alleging that Bahria Town had allotted land worth lakhs to the Al-Qadir Trust, owned by Mr Khan and his wife.
The 70-year-old former prime minister has successfully fended off several attempts to arrest him, including a dramatic escape from a police raid where he allegedly crossed a fence and died in Lahore’s Zaman Park. ran away from his residence.