‘No Instructions Yet To Suspend Internet Services On Polling Day’

Solangi says local administrations have the authority to decide on the suspension of internet services in light of the law and order situation.

‘No Instructions Yet To Suspend Internet Services On Polling Day’

Caretaker Interior Minister Dr. Gohar Ejaz stated on Tuesday that the government would only consider stopping internet access on February 8 if a district or province requested it due to the security situation.

"So far, no decision has been made regarding the suspension of internet services in any location," said the minister during a press conference in Islamabad, along with caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi.

A day earlier, Solangi rejected the notion of an internet shutdown on February 8, stating that local administrations have the power to decide on an internet shutdown in light of the law and order situation; however, he emphasized that no such crisis has yet been noted.

On Sunday, interim Balochistan Information Minister Jan Achakzai declared that internet connectivity will be temporarily limited in sensitive pooling booths across the province on Election Day.

When asked about the current state of law and order, Ejaz stated that the government is working hard to organize peaceful elections with no loss of life.

"The election atmosphere in Sindh is full of excitement, and it does not appear that any political party is at odds with another," Ejaz said, adding that he saw no friction amongst the candidates in Balochistan during his visit.

He said, "We do not want to take the law into our hands in Sindh; the parties contesting the polls in Sindh have known each other for years."

The interior minister stated that the government plans to provide security in three tiers. "The commandos will be deployed in Balochistan to respond in the shortest possible time," he told reporters.

"Police, civil armed forces, and the army will protect you. We will not allow anyone to question Pakistan's integrity or independence," he stated.

Ejaz said there are 90,777 pooling stations around the country, with over 40,000 declared normal. Meanwhile, 20,985 voting locations have been designated as sensitive, with 16,766 identified as the most sensitive.

He stated that at least seven to eight law enforcement officers will be stationed at each polling station across the country and that over 137,000 law enforcement personnel have been deployed across the country.

"Pakistan Army troops will be deployed as a quick reaction force (QRF)," Ejaz told reporters.

The minister also urged residents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which has suffered the most from terrorism, to vote on February 8.

Ejaz said that it was the government's responsibility to protect the lives of all citizens.