Pakistan election: Internet access cut off as controversial polls begin

PAKISTAN: Pakistan has temporarily suspended mobile services as millions head to the polls to vote in a new government.

An interior ministry spokesman said the measure was warranted, citing recent incidents of terror in the country.

The election comes almost two years since the previous prime minister, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, was ousted in a no-confidence vote.

Three-time PM Nawaz Sharif is now on the ballot in what many analysts say is Pakistan’s least credible election yet.

Both calls and data services have been suspended, though Wifi networks still appear to be working.

One voter told the BBC they were shocked at the decision, saying “voters should be facilitated instead of [having to be met with] such hurdles”.

Another said she was expecting a blanket shut down.

Justifying the move, an Interior Ministry spokesman said, “As a result of the recent incidents of terrorism in the country, precious lives have been lost. Security measures are essential to maintain law and order situation and to deal with potential threats”.

 

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