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January 29, 2024 In an unprecedented move, the official website and candidates’ portal of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), a prominent political party in Pakistan, have been rendered inaccessible within the country. The OSINT tools’ test results reveal that both www.insaf.pk and www.pticandidates.com are subjected to Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) blockage.

Emergence of PTI’s Fake Website

In a recent development, a website with similar interface and functionality (www.pticandidate.com) to impersonate the official candidates portal of PTI (www.pticandidates.com) has been launched. However, it is essential to note that there is a caveat – this initiative is not just a mirror of the official portal; it also contains misinformation, deliberately introducing confusion among voters. Interestingly, as soon as this deceptive website surfaced, the authentic candidates’ portal www.pticandidates.com  became inaccessible in Pakistan, although it remains accessible through the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).

Forged Symbols
Original Website (www.pticandidates.com)

Fake Website (www.pticandidate.com)

PTI’s Response to Website Blockade

This development has raised concerns about the transparency of information dissemination, especially in the run-up to crucial elections. In response to the website blockade and clone, PTI has taken innovative steps to ensure that voters continue to have access to accurate and timely information.

One notable initiative is the launch of https://AzaadVote.com , a website that replicates the official candidates’ portal of PTI, providing voters with constituency details and symbols of PTI candidates.

The situation has prompted concerns regarding the potential impact on the democratic process and the need for safeguards to ensure the accuracy of information available to the public. To counteract this, PTI has taken an additional step by launching a GitHub repository, https://insafpk.github.io/pticandidates This repository is an alternative platform that provides the same information as the official candidates’ portal, effectively bypassing the censorship imposed on the party’s primary online resources. This move ensures that voters can access accurate information even in the face of online restrictions.

The significance of such initiatives lies not only in overcoming immediate challenges but also in emphasizing the importance of transparency and open access to information in democratic processes. By utilizing GitHub, a platform known for its commitment to free and open-source software, PTI is reinforcing its dedication to providing voters with unfiltered information.

Moreover, in a proactive measure, PTI has introduced an innovative solution on social media to counteract the challenges posed by the website blockade. An automated bot has been deployed on Imran Khan’s official Facebook page, where users can send their constituency numbers. In response, the bot provides information on the symbol and constituency of PTI candidates, ensuring that voters receive accurate details even if direct access to the official websites is restricted.

Conclusion

In conclusion, PTI’s response to the blockade of its official websites reflects a commitment to transparency and the facilitation of democratic processes. The launch of www.AzaadVote.com , the GitHub repository, and the Facebook bot collectively highlight the party’s dedication to ensuring that voters have access to accurate and unfiltered information, regardless of online restrictions. These initiatives underscore the evolving nature of political communication in the digital age and the resilience of democratic ideals in the face of technological challenges.