The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has received no instructions to restore social media, a spokesperson for the authority said Saturday. Confirming that mobile internet services have been restored across the country, the PTA spokesperson said that no instructions have been received so far to restore social media platforms. Earlier, on May 9, the government restricted mobile internet service across the country and prohibited the use of social media platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The information technology (IT) sector has suffered a devastating loss of Rs10 billion, while the telecom sector suffered a loss of Rs2.5 billion in merely three days due to the restrictions on mobile internet services, which adversely affected several businesses. Moreover, sources in the telecom industry confirmed that the government’s tax revenue took a hit of approximately Rs860 million. The telecom regulator was instructed to take these measures due to increasingly-violent agitation and protests that erupted in several cities across the country following the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan outside the Islamabad High Court. According to an official of a telecom company, the mobile broadband services constitute around 60% of their total revenues. Therefore, on a daily-basis, they earn approximately Rs820 million. Additionally, the government receives around 35% of the revenue. This calculation is based on the fact that the telecommunication companies earned roughly Rs500 billion from cellular services in the previous year. However, this is just an estimate from one industry. The overall economic loss to the country is likely to be massive. The sudden suspension of the internet services, without a well-thought-out process, has caused life in the country to come to a standstill. The move has drawn widespread criticism from organisations like GSMA and Amnesty International. Many argue that this suspension is tantamount to a violation of fundamental rights. The GSMA, a body that represents the interests of global mobile operators, etc., said that “alarmingly, the government has announced that the mobile internet shutdown is ‘indefinite’ which is a clear violation of the people’s right to access information and free expression”. “The ban on the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube also creates a permissive environment for other human rights violations under the darkness of the internet shutdown. The restrictions must be lifted immediately.” Rimmel Mohydin, regional campaigner at Amnesty International stated.