The social media ban affected many Pakistanis already suffering from the fallout of the COVID pandemic

The Pakistan government on Friday ordered an hours-long shutdown of social media and instant messaging platforms after days of violent anti-France protests.

It comes a day after French nationals and companies in Pakistan were advised by their embassy to temporarily leave in the wake of rallies led by an extremist party that paralyzed large parts of the country and left two police officers dead.

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In a notice to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the Interior Ministry requested a "complete blocking" of Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube and Telegram until the middle of the afternoon.

The PTA said it was to "maintain public order and safety." Read more at i24