Interim Interior Minister Dr Gohar Ejaz stated on Tuesday that the caretaker government would consider internet shutdowns on February 8, the election day, but only if a district or province formally requests it due to security concerns.
Speaking at a press conference in Islamabad with interim Information Minister Murtaza Solangi, Ejaz emphasized that no decision has been reached regarding internet suspensions at any location thus far.
In a statement made the previous day, Solangi dismissed the idea of an internet shutdown on February 8, asserting that local authorities can implement such measures based on the prevailing law and order circumstances. Nevertheless, he underscored that, as of now, no such situation has come to the fore.
On Sunday, Jan Achakzai, the caretaker Information Minister of Balochistan, unveiled plans for temporary internet restrictions at sensitive polling stations in the province during the upcoming election.
During today’s discussion concerning the security scenario, Ejaz emphasized the government’s commitment to ensuring peaceful elections without any loss of life. He also added that he did not observe any tension between candidates in Balochistan. He said:
The election atmosphere in Sindh is full of excitement, and it does not seem that any political party has enmity with another. Last but not least, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the government presiding over internet and telecommunication control in Pakistan, has recently confirmed that there will be no internet shutdown during election day. This confirmation comes from a PTA official speaking with Business Recorder.