Despite the government and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) making loud promises the day before, mobile and internet services are still unavailable across Pakistan. Real-time data suggests that internet outages are currently occurring in “multiple regions of Pakistan in addition to mobile network disruptions,” according to the internet watchdog Netblocks. It stated, “The incident occurs on election day and comes after months of digital censorship directed at the political opposition.”
Additionally, a source told us that the interior ministry ordered the “temporary” shutdown of the mobile phone signals due to security concerns. “The recent surge in terrorist activities resulting in precious lives has stirred a security environment in the country,” the ministry said in a statement. The “need has arisen to take measures to safeguard against” security threats, it continued.
How long this disruption of cell and internet usage will last is unknown. However, this does not bode well for a democratic country when citizens are exercising their right to vote on election day.