Thursday, June 1, 2023

3-Day Internet Blackout Paralyzes Pakistan, Inflicts Over Rs.30 Billion Losses to Businesses

In a debilitating blow to Pakistan’s economy and daily life, a three-day internet blackout has left the nation in a state of paralysis, causing severe disruptions to businesses and incurring losses estimated to be over Rs.30 billion. The widespread outage has brought various sectors to a standstill and has raised concerns about the impact on the country’s economic stability.

The internet blackout, which began on Tuesday, was imposed by the government in response to civil unrest following the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan. As a result, access to online services, e-commerce platforms, communication apps, and other crucial digital resources came to a halt, leaving individuals and businesses struggling to operate effectively.

The consequences of the internet blackout have been particularly harsh on businesses, with industries heavily reliant on online operations suffering the most. E-commerce platforms, including retail outlets and delivery services, have been severely impacted, leading to significant losses in sales and disrupted supply chains.

Online payment gateways, financial institutions, and banking services also faced major challenges, hindering transactions and causing inconvenience to customers.

Furthermore, sectors such as education and remote work were severely affected, as students and professionals rely heavily on internet connectivity for virtual learning and remote job functions. The blackout disrupted online classes, remote meetings, and collaborative work, further exacerbating the setbacks experienced due to the ongoing pandemic.

Estimates suggest that the financial toll of the three-day internet blackout has exceeded Rs.30 billion, with businesses suffering significant revenue losses and individuals facing difficulties in meeting their daily needs. The impact is expected to be long-lasting, as businesses struggle to recover from the setbacks and individuals face the consequences of disrupted services.

The government’s decision to enforce the internet blackout has drawn criticism from various quarters, including human rights activists and members of the business community. Concerns have been raised about the violation of the right to freedom of expression, access to information, and the potential long-term damage to Pakistan’s image as a digital economy.

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