The megapopular messengers WhatsApp and Telegram were suspended in Afghanistan to resolve “technical problems” on Saturday. The Afghan officials ordered all internet providers to stop these applications from November 1 to November 20.
The common users of WhatsApp and Telegram in Afghanistan are outcrying because of the authorities’ order to suspend the messengers. On Saturday, the state-owned Salaam Network is the only internet provider to obey the order. The telecommunications ministry spokesman Najib Nangyalay told AFP,
“We are testing a new technology and WhatsApp and Telegram will be temporarily blocked,”
he said and added that an order t is not a blow to the freedom of communication in Afghanistan. The top official offered to use Facebook, Twitter during the three-week-period of suspension.
‘We are committed to the freedom of expression,’
said telecommunications ministry spokesman.
The telecommunications in Afghanistan
Acting telecommunications minister Shahzad Aryobee said the move was in response to dissatisfaction with the services — something industry insiders rejected. In many countries, WhatsApp is very popular because it uses fewer data and the quality is very good.
Around eight million people, largely in Afghanistan’s major cities, can access the internet, up from almost none during the Taliban’s repressive 1996-2001 regime. Most do so through mobile phones.
The Taliban frequently uses WhatsApp to post statements in Afghanistan while IS militants favour Telegram.