ISLAMABAD (Diya TV) — X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, remains inaccessible in Pakistan for the third consecutive day following reports of interference during the recent general elections. The disruption began on Saturday, after a senior government official publicly admitted to vote manipulation during the polls held on February 8.

NetBlocks, an organization monitoring internet accessibility, confirmed a “national-scale disruption” to Twitter in Pakistan since February 17. Despite these reports, government officials have neither confirmed nor denied any involvement in restricting access to the platform.

Gohar Ejaz, the caretaker interior minister, stated that he was unaware of any restrictions, while Murtaza Solangi, the caretaker minister for information, did not respond to inquiries regarding the situation. Officials from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the regulatory body responsible for enforcing government directives, have remained silent on the matter.

Although many users have been unable to access Twitter since Saturday, Umar Saif, the caretaker minister for information technology, managed to post on his account on Monday afternoon. However, he did not address questions regarding the platform’s closure.

Pakistan has experienced intermittent internet disruptions in recent weeks, coinciding with political events organized by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, led by former Prime Minister Imran Khan. In January alone, several social media platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, faced restrictions on multiple occasions.

During the general elections on February 8, mobile services were suspended nationwide due to security concerns, further exacerbating doubts about the transparency of the electoral process. The delayed announcement of election results led to widespread allegations of irregularities, particularly from the PTI.

The latest restriction on X occurred after a government official confessed to involvement in electoral fraud, sparking outrage and protests across the country. Videos of the official circulated on social media platforms, including Twitter, implicating high-ranking officials in the manipulation of election results.

Digital rights advocates have condemned the repeated internet shutdowns, criticizing them as an infringement on freedom of speech and an attempt to suppress dissent. Farieha Aziz, co-founder of Bolo Bhi, a digital rights advocacy group, emphasized the detrimental impact of such restrictions on Pakistan’s political environment and digital market.

Despite the challenges posed by internet censorship, some users have bypassed the restrictions using virtual private networks (VPNs). However, many have voiced frustration over the government’s decision to block access to social media platforms. The US State Department has been urged to intervene.