Pakistan Prepares for By-Polls Amid Controversy: Cellular Services Suspended, Security Measures Implemented

Punjab And Balochistan Provinces

Cellular Services Suspended, Security Measures ImplementedIn preparation for Sunday’s by-polls in Pakistan, the government has announced the suspension of cellular services in parts of Punjab and Balochistan provinces. This decision, aimed at safeguarding the integrity and security of the electoral process, has drawn criticism from the opposition party, which labels it as unconstitutional and a tactic to rig the results.

Following the tumultuous national elections in February, marred by mobile service shutdowns and result delays, concerns about electoral integrity have been heightened. The upcoming by-polls, involving 21 constituencies across various assemblies, are the first significant electoral event since the contentious national election.

Controversy Surrounds Cellular Service Suspension and Security Deployment Ahead of Pakistan’s By-Polls

suspension and Security Deployment Ahead of Pakistan'sThe Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) cited directives from the interior ministry for the temporary suspension of cellular services. Meanwhile, the Punjab government has requested this measure to maintain law and order during the by-polls in specific districts.

The opposition, particularly Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, has strongly condemned the shutdown, deeming it unconstitutional and alleging it as a plan to manipulate the election outcome. Despite this, PTI urges its supporters to participate actively in the electoral process.

In addition to the service suspension, the federal government has authorized the deployment of civil armed forces and the Pakistan Army to assist the Election Commission in ensuring peaceful conduct during the by-polls. The Election Commission has laid out a code of conduct for security forces, emphasizing non-interference in the counting process and prompt reporting of any irregularities to the presiding officer.

As Pakistan braces for the by-polls amid controversy and heightened scrutiny, the focus remains on upholding the democratic process and ensuring a fair and transparent election.



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