Jan Achakzai, the Caretaker Information Minister of Balochistan, has announced that no internet services around critical polling stations in the province for the General Elections on February 8, 2024.
Achakzai explained that this decision has been taken in response to a terrorism alert, and as a precautionary measure, internet services will be temporarily halted before the 2024 elections. The suspension of internet services will primarily affect regions such as Turbat, Mach, Chaman, and other areas within the province.
These Areas Will Have No Internet on Election Day
Priority on Civilian Safety
Jan Achakzai emphasized that the caretaker government’s highest priority is to safeguard the well-being of civilians. He expressed concerns that terrorists could potentially exploit social media platforms to incite violence during the upcoming general elections.
Preemptive Measures by Balochistan Government
The Balochistan government has taken preemptive measures by imposing limitations on public gatherings and election-related meetings earlier today. Achakzai cited heightened danger and the presence of a suspected female suicide bomber in Balochistan’s governmental seat as the basis for this decision.
No Internet Suspension in Other Areas Yet
Caretaker Information Minister of Pakistan, Murtaza Solangi, addressed concerns this week, stating that the government has not issued any directives to suspend mobile or internet services in the country on polling day. This clarification comes amidst a rise in pre-election violence as Pakistan prepares for the upcoming polls on February 8th.
Local Administration to Address Law and Order Situations
The minister added that if any law-and-order situation arises anywhere in the country on polling day, the local administration will take decisions accordingly. Solangi called on individuals to exercise their voting rights with careful consideration, emphasizing that this participation reflects their patriotism and their commitment to the country’s democratic continuity.
Commitment to Scheduled Elections
Despite security challenges, both the Information Minister and the central government in Islamabad have consistently affirmed that the elections will proceed as scheduled on February 8th.