Government Halts Mobile Services During Election Day

The Government of Pakistan temporarily suspended mobile phone services across the country ahead of a General Election, citing an increase in militant violence. The Ministry of Interior explained that the move was necessary to maintain law and order following recent terrorism incidents that resulted in loss of lives. Service disruptions were reported in major cities, with the outage notably affecting Zong, the country’s second-largest operator.


Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja assured the public that the service disruption would not impact the voting system. However, millions of voters who relied on the 8300 helpline to check their constituencies were unable to do so during the outage. The commissioner emphasized that the decision to suspend services rested with law and order agencies, and the Election Commission could only provide recommendations.


Despite the mobile service suspension, unofficial election results were expected a few hours after voting closed, with official confirmations anticipated the next day. The country remained on high alert, with thousands of army and paramilitary personnel deployed across polling stations. Additionally, border crossings with Afghanistan and Iran had been temporarily closed.


It’s worth noting that the government took steps to restore internet and phone services, as mentioned by the Interior Ministry. The situation drew criticism from the IT industry, which demanded the restoration of internet access on Election Day.