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caretaker Government Considers Internet Suspension on Election Day

The interim government has suggested the possibility of internet service suspension on Election Day in response to violence in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Interim Interior Minister Gohar Ijaz, accompanied by caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi, addressed concerns at a press conference in Islamabad, stating that no decision had been made regarding internet suspension. He emphasized that decisions would be made based on requests from specific districts or provinces, considering the threat levels there, particularly concerning terrorist activities facilitated by communication channels like WhatsApp. The government has established monitoring centers to assess the situation.

Despite recent attacks, the government remains committed to holding elections on February 8, ensuring the safety of the electorate. Over 128 million voters are expected to participate, marking the fourth democratic election since the end of General (retd) Musharraf’s martial law. With 511,000 police personnel deployed for security, the government prioritizes citizen safety above all else, intending to conduct transparent and peaceful elections.

Ejaz underscored that decisions would be merit-based, solely focused on citizen safety. He affirmed the caretaker government’s determination to safeguard the election process and national security, utilizing facial recognition technology for enhanced security measures.

Each of the 90,777 polling stations, categorized as normal, sensitive, or highly sensitive, will have an average of seven to eight security personnel deployed. Solangi emphasized that despite speculation, elections will proceed as scheduled, with the caretaker government resolute in ensuring a smooth electoral process and maintaining national security.

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