Pakistan to consider shutting down internet if requested by any district or province on Feb 8 polling day

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Islamabad, Feb 8 (PTI) Only if a district or a province makes a request in view of the security situation, the government will consider shutting down the internet connections on February 8, the polling day, caretaker Interior Minister Dr Gohar Ejaz said on Tuesday.

“So far, there has been no decision made regarding the suspension of internet services at any place. The caretaker government will consider shutting down the internet connections only if there is a request,” The News International newspaper said quoting Ejaz.

Ejaz was addressing a press conference along with the caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi.

Ejaz’s announcement is important as just a day earlier, Solangi had turned down the possibility of an internet shutdown on February 8.

“Local administrations have the authority to decide on an internet shutdown in light of the law and order situation, however, no such situation has so far been reported,” Solangi had said on Monday.

Earlier on Sunday, caretaker Balochistan Information Minister Jan Achakzai had announced that the internet service will remain temporarily restricted in the sensitive polling booths in the province on the polling day.

Ejaz, while talking about the law and order situation on Tuesday, said that the government was making efforts to hold peaceful elections without any loss of lives. “The election atmosphere in Sindh is full of excitement and it does not seem that any political party has enmity with another,” the newspaper quoted Ejaz as saying, and added that he did not see any tension between the candidates in Balochistan during his visit.

The interior minister said that the government will provide security in three layers – police, civil armed forces and the army. “The commandos will be deployed in Balochistan to respond in the shortest possible time,” he said. PTI NPK NPK NPK

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