Pakistan’s government has suspended mobile phone services across the country to “maintain the law and order situation” ahead of a General Election marked by an increase in militant violence.
“As a result of the recent incidents of terrorism in the country, precious lives have been lost, therefore security measures are essential to maintain the law and order situation and deal with potential threats.
It has been decided to suspend mobile services across the country temporarily,” the Ministry of Interior said in a message on X (formerly Twitter).
People have reported service disruption in major cities and districts across Pakistan since early this morning, with the country’s second-largest operator Zong bearing the brunt of the impact, corroborated by widespread user reports of outages.
⚠ Confirmed: Live network data show a disruption to mobile internet in #Pakistan with high impact to second-largest operator Zong, corroborating widespread user reports of outages; the incident comes as polls open on election day ???? #PakistanElection2024 pic.twitter.com/XWIyU1BKvO
— NetBlocks (@netblocks) February 8, 2024
Meanwhile, Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja told reporters earlier today that the service disruption will not affect the voting system, despite the fact that millions of voters check their constituency using the 8300 helpline, which is currently unavailable due to the outage.
“This is beyond the election commission,” the commissioner stated, adding that it is the decision of law enforcement agencies.
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