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Friday, May 31, 2024  
22 Dhul-Qadah 1445  

By-elections: Govt suspends mobile, internet services

Home department writes letter to ensure security during by-elections

Mobile and internet services would remain suspended in several districts of Balochistan and Punjab today during the by-elections across the two provinces, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has said.

In a statement on Saturday, the PTA said that the decision was taken on the recommendation of the interior ministry.

Earlier in the day, the Punjab Home Department recommended the suspension of mobile and internet services in 13 districts and tehsils across the province during by-elections being held on Sunday in Punjab.

In a related development, the Election Commission of Pakistan has banned media coverage of the transfer of election material to polling stations.

By-elections for five National Assembly and 16 Provincial Assembly seats are scheduled for Sunday

In a letter addressed to the Pakistan Ministry of Interior, the department has requested the temporary suspension of services to ensure peaceful and transparent elections.

The letter has also been copied to the Chief Secretary, Inspector General of Police, and Chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

The by-elections are set to take place in various constituencies across Punjab, including Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Bahawalpur, Sialkot, Gujrat, Sheikhupura, Jhang, Kasur, and Sahiwal.

The Punjab Home Department believes that the suspension of mobile and internet services will help prevent the spread of misinformation and rumours that can disrupt the electoral process.

Ban on coverage

Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the Election Commission of Pakistan has said that there is a ban on the coverage of delivery of polling material for the by-elections.

The coverage was banned by the DRO, as the windows of the RO office were broken during the general election.

The spokesman further said that due to media coverage, the delivery of polling material is disrupted. The Election Commission will release the footage of the delivery itself, it said.

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