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Internet service to be ‘restricted’ on election day

ISLAMABAD (PEN) : Ahead of the February 8 general elections, internet access will be restricted in “sensitive areas” of Balochistan, according to caretaker provincial Information Minister Jan Achakzai.

The move comes amidst concerns that terrorists could leverage social media platforms for communication and coordination during the polls.

In a statement posted on social media platform X, Achakzai explained that internet services will be temporarily suspended in areas like Turbat, Mach, and Chaman due to security threats. “Terrorists can use social media platforms for communication purposes,” he said, highlighting the government’s priority to ensure the safety of citizens during the elections.

The decision has sparked mixed reactions. While some citizens understand the security concerns, others worry about the potential disruption to communication, business activities, and access to information. Critics raise concerns about the impact on free flow of information and potential disenfranchisement of voters, particularly those relying on online resources for election updates and civic engagement.

The Sindh High Court on Wednesday instructed the federal government and the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) to ensure uninterrupted internet access throughout the election period. This raises questions about the legality and enforceability of the internet blackout in specific areas.