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PPP and PTI lodge complaint with ECP against mobile phones and internet suspension on polling day

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf have lodged a complaint with the Election Commission of Pakistan against mobile and internet services disruptions across the country on the polling day.

Political leaders and voters were shocked to see that the mobile phone and internet facilities had been suspended before the start of the polling.

Earlier in the morning, the Ministry of Interior suspended cellular services “temporarily” across Pakistan as part of security measures as the nation votes today in the general elections.

An interior ministry’s spokesperson said that precious lives were lost in recent incidents of terrorism in the country in the run-up to the general elections.

However, several political parties including PPP and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) raised questions over the suspension of mobile phone services, saying that it was the “worst situation ever”. 

“We, the Pakistan Peoples Party are concerned about the recent unannounced disruptions of internet and mobile network connectivity across Pakistan which is severely impacting the General Elections,” PPP’s election cell in-charge Taj Haider wrote in a letter addressed to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja.

Due to this countrywide disruption, voters are unable to access information related to their polling station or coordinate logistics to access the polling stations, he added.

The discontinuation of network services has created problems for voters, candidates, and electoral staff.

“Understandably, without access to internet and mobile networks, voters are unable to access vital information about polling stations and follow other electoral procedures and coordinate logistics to access respective polling stations,” the complaint added.

The PPP urged the ECP to take immediate action to restore mobile network and internet connectivity to ensure free and fair elections.

“The immediate restoration of mobile network and internet will demonstrate ECPs commitment to a free, fair and transparent Elections 2024,” it added.

Earlier, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that his party will approach both the ECP and relevant courts in a bid to restore mobile phone services on election day. 

Taking to X, Bilawal wrote, “Mobile phone services must be restored immediately across the country have asked my party to approach both ECP and the courts for this purpose.”

Meanwhile, PTI’s election cell also filed a complaint with the ECP demanding restoration of internet and mobile phone services in the country.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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