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Phone Service Suspended In Pakistan During Election

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Phone Service Suspended In Pakistan During Election

(CTN News) – A general election marred by allegations of vote rigging and militant attacks led to phone service suspension in Pakistan on Thursday.

Security reasons led the caretaker government to suspend phone services, including mobile internet.

The restive region of Balochistan was hit by two bomb blasts on Wednesday. Islamic State claimed the attacks.

In response to the “deteriorating security situation”, Pakistan’s interior ministry said it was taking measures to protect itself.

Gohar Ejaz, caretaker interior minister, affirmed he had no choice. The attack yesterday killed 28 people, he said. Terrorists can attack anywhere.” There were more than 128 million registered voters. Voting started at 8am (0300 GMT) and ended at 5pm.

The Pakistani army deployed more than 650,000 security personnel on election day, especially in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where militant attacks have been on the rise.

Gunmen opened fire on a security forces vehicle in Tank, about 25 miles north of Kulachi, killing five police officers and one person.

A civilian soldier and two children were killed in explosions caused by grenades or IEDs in Balochistan.

There were concerns the election wouldn’t be free or fair after Phone Service were suspended, and political parties and candidates condemned it. “Reckless attack on people’s rights”, said Amnesty International.

It’s been alleged that the election could be rigged to put back in power Nawaz Sharif, the leader of the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N). According to reports, Sharif is the favorite candidate of Pakistan’s powerful military, which has been accused of rigging elections in the past.

“Shutting down mobile networks on election day is the start of rigging.”

“The pre-poll environment was already bad. I don’t think it’s right to cut off candidates on election day.” Pakistan People’s Party, run by the powerful Bhutto family dynasty, wrote the chief justice to ask for the internet to be restored, saying it “impacted voter turnout” because the electorate couldn’t find out where their polls were.

Security threats were similar in 2013 and 2018, but phone services weren’t suspended. PTI, the party of Imran Khan, called the suspension of Phone Service “pre-poll rigging”.

Turnout would benefit PTI, analysts say. There is also a WhatsApp number for reporting rigging.

Khan is one of Pakistan’s most popular politicians, but he’s been in jail since August and can’t run. Khan was sentenced to prison for more than a decade last week in three politically motivated cases.

A lengthy crackdown prevented PTI candidates from running freely in the run-up to the election. PTI and others wanted internet Phone Service to keep working on election day. On polling day, a previous high court order required the government to provide uninterrupted internet.

Those in power manipulated election results in a cowardly move, PTI said. Democracy isn’t here; tyranny is.”

On Wednesday night, PTI denied widespread misinformation about boycotting. PTI and Khan won big in polling stations across Islamabad, despite Khan’s incarceration.

She could barely walk, but her kids carried her to the polls to vote for PTI. They’re tired, she said. Imran Khan’s case was faked by the army.

Despite their doubts that the election would be free or fair, 20 million first-time voters backed Khan in this election.

We’re all supporting Imran Khan,” said Areesha Khan, 19. The result might already be decided, but we still have to believe our votes will count and things will change.”


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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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