Pakistan government shuts down internet on election day

In Pakistan's general elections to be held in February 2024, there have been a number of incidents in which candidates have been shot or killed during election campaigns in various places, and on February 7, the day before voting, multiple attacks have been made on election offices. Civil rights continue to be threatened, with at least 30 people killed in an explosion. Furthermore, on February 8, when the votes were counted, telephone services, including mobile networks, and the internet were found to have been cut off.

Pakistan: Election-day internet shutdown is a reckless attack on people's rights - Amnesty International

Pakistan election: phone service suspended as country goes to polls | Pakistan | The Guardian

NetBlocks, an internet freedom monitoring organization, reported in a post on X (formerly Twitter) that mobile network disruptions and internet blackouts are occurring in multiple regions of Pakistan. In addition to NetBlocks, multiple organizations have reported network outages in Pakistan.

In Pakistan, former Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif declared the dissolution of parliament in August 2023, and Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar, who is said to have strong support from the military, became interim prime minister.

In response to a series of bombings by the extremist group Islamic State (IS) that targeted election offices the day before voting, the interim government led by Mr. has been temporarily suspended.'

In response, Pakistani political parties and candidates are concerned that ``Pakistan's military has participated in public opinion polls in the past, and that the current suspension may be a strategy to have the military rig elections.'' expressed.

The results were expected to be known by the evening of Election Day, but internet blackouts have delayed vote counting and raised concerns about the integrity of the election process.

Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, who was running as an independent candidate in the capital, Islamabad, told It must have been stolen.''

Amnesty International, an international human rights organization, also condemned the internet shutdown on election day as a 'reckless attack on the rights of the people.'

Livia Saccardi, Amnesty International's interim deputy director for South Asia, said in a statement: 'A total communications blackout impacts people's ability to move, live and survive difficult times, and further strengthens trust in authorities. Amnesty International urges the Pakistani authorities to adopt a rights-respecting approach and to provide access to the internet to enable people to access timely information and discuss all election-related issues throughout the voting process. We ask that all blanket restrictions on access be lifted immediately.'

The vote counting process has been delayed due to communication disruptions, and it has not yet been confirmed at the time of writing, but ``While the ruling party led by Nawaz Sharif, the older brother of former Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, has the upper hand, the main opposition party has the support. It is reported that the number of independent candidates who have been elected has also been remarkable.

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