Highlights

  • Mobile services suspended in Pak
  • Voting begins in Pakistan
  • Decisions taken in light of terrorist attacks

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Pakistan temporarily suspends mobile services as voting begins

Mobile services were forced to go down across Pakistan in light of the deteriorating security situation in the country 

Pakistan temporarily suspends mobile services as voting begins

Pakistan's interior ministry temporarily suspended mobile services across the country in light of the deteriorating security situation as the voting began in the country's general elections on Thursday.

The ministry said that they took the decision in the wake of the terrorist attacks on Wednesday that killed 26 people in the southwestern province of Balochistan.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the blasts. The twin blasts on election eve came a day after jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan urged his supporters to wait outside polling booths after voting until results are announced.

Meanwhile, internet monitor Netblocks has said that real-time data shows that internet blackouts are now in effect in “multiple regions of Pakistan in addition to mobile network disruptions”, reports Dawn.com,

“The incident comes on election day and follows months of digital censorship targeting the political opposition,” it said.

The main contestants of this year's general election are the Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, which won the last national election, and the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) of three-time premier Nawaz Sharif, who is considered the front-runner.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the 35-year-old son of former premier Benazir Bhutto, has also run an aggressive campaign in an outside bid for the top office.

Unofficial first results in the election are expected a few hours after voting closes at 5 p.m. (1200 GMT) and a clear picture is likely to emerge early on Friday.

Experts believe that there may be no major clear winner, paving the way for the powerful military generals to play a key role.

For the past 76 years since its independence, the military has had a say directly or indirectly in the political affairs of the nuclear-armed country, even though it has maintained it does not interfere in politics.

Also read | Pakistan votes to elect new government in high-stakes polls today


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