Whenever election day approaches in Pakistan, there are quite a lot of security measures in place that disrupt daily lives. No matter which city you are in, you are bound to see quite a lot of measures being taken. At times, the situation in the city can become quite dire, and people have themselves have to take caution to avoid any conflicts. Thus, it seems that this year is also expected to be no different, especially with recent events. Caretaker Interior Minister Gohar Ejaz suggested the potential suspension of internet services in case of security threats during the upcoming election day.
Amnesty International urged Pakistani authorities to ensure continuous internet access across the nation during the voting process. Thus, we can see conflicting statements even here. While it is being encouraged to keep the internet services up, it is possible that they’ll be down on the day itself. Minister Gohar Ejaz emphasized that any decision to suspend internet services would depend on security requests from specific districts or provinces.
No Internet For A Day
Caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi previously dismissed the possibility of an internet shutdown on election day, asserting that local administrations held the authority to make such decisions based on law and order situations. This means that the internet will not be closed until and unless such a situation arises which can escalate due to open internet.
Caretaker Balochistan Information Minister Jan Achakzai declared that internet services would be temporarily restricted in sensitive polling booths within the province on election day. Locations where the political situation can escalate can certainly expect to see internet blackouts, especially during the daytime.
A Peaceful Election Day
The Election Commission of Pakistan assured that the Election Management System (EMS) would function offline in case of internet disruptions during the election. Thus, you can expect your voting process to go forward as planned, even if the internet goes down.
The Sindh High Court directed federal authorities to ensure uninterrupted internet access and social media usage until February 21, extending its previous interim order against disruptions. We hope that the elections pass without disruption or any sort of unrest. After all, we don’t want to end up with a situation that will put innocent lives at risk.
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