To overcome internet blockage, Careem launches manual booking rides.

Ride-hailing app Careem has introduced manual booking rides and launched three helplines for its customer base in Karachi, the company said in a statement Friday, as it shifts to the alternate mode in light of the suspension of mobile internet services across Pakistan.

'This manual booking option is aimed at catering to critical movement primarily for educational institutions, hospitals, healthcare institutions and airport rides,' the ride-hailing app said in a statement.

Customers based in Karachi can pre-book a ride 90 minutes in advance by sending a text message (SMS), or a message/voice note on Whatsapp containing their formal request - registered name and phone number on which Careem account is made along with the pickup and drop off location details on these numbers; +92-301-2442-739, +92-320-3581-584, +92-326-3703-258).

'The manual-booking rides are cash based only to ensure a smooth experience since digital payments are also being hindered by the suspension of mobile internet services,' the statement mentioned.

The company said this is a limited-time service and will be operational only until the mobile internet service resumes.

The government suspended internet services on May 9 after violent protests broke out in the country after the law enforcers took Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan into custody from inside the Islamabad High Court in the Al-Qadir Trust case.

However, hopes have emerged that the services may be restored following his release as the IHC has granted him blanket relief in multiple cases.

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