Pakistan Experiences Nationwide Internet Blackout Amidst Speculation and Virtual Rally

  • The outage reportedly began around 8 PM on Sunday in major cities like Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad.
  • Independent internet monitoring agencies like Netblocks also noted the coincidence of the outage with PTI’s virtual rally.
  • Live internet metrics across Pakistan confirmed widespread social media disruptions, impacting platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
  • The lack of official communication from the government has further exacerbated public frustration and suspicion.

Islamabad: Pakistan plunged into a state of internet limbo on Monday, December 18th, 2023, as major social media platforms and internet services went down, leaving millions of users bewildered and frustrated. While the cause remains shrouded in a fog of rumor and speculation, two primary narratives dominate the public discourse:

Uncertain Future: As of now, the internet remains largely inaccessible in Pakistan. The true reason behind the outage and its duration remains unclear. As the hours progress, Pakistanis watch with bated breath, hoping for answers and the restoration of their digital lifeline.

1. Dawood Ibrahim Poisoning Claims: Whispers about the alleged poisoning of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, residing in Pakistan, began circulating on social media platforms on Sunday. Some speculate that the internet blackout was imposed to contain the potential spread of misinformation and prevent social unrest surrounding this sensitive issue. However, government officials have yet to confirm or deny this connection.

2. Imran Khan’s Virtual Rally: Coincidentally, the internet outage coincided with a virtual rally hosted by former Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan. Critics suspect that the government might have deliberately disrupted internet access to curb potential online support for Khan’s rally and maintain public order. This theory gains traction from reports of slow internet speeds and streaming difficulties encountered by users during the event.

Impact and Reactions: The nationwide blackout has significantly impacted daily life, disrupting communication, business operations, and access to information. Many Pakistanis expressed their frustration on alternative channels, with some condemning the alleged suppression of freedom of expression and access to information. Prominent figures like PTI leader Taimur Jhagra and human rights activist Gibran Nasir voiced their disapproval, calling the disruption “beyond madness” and detrimental to millions of users and businesses.


Official Stance: Despite the mounting speculation and public outcry, the Pakistani government has maintained an enigmatic silence. No official explanation has been provided for the internet blackout, further fueling the uncertainty and fueling conspiracy theories.