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Sindh High Court Seeks Explanation for Election Day Internet Suspension

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Sindh High Court Seeks Explanation for Election Day Internet Suspension

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has demanded explanations from the information technology and communication,  interior ministries and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) regarding the suspension of internet services on election day on February 08 in various parts of the country during the court hearing on February 21. The court expressed dissatisfaction with the decision to suspend internet services and sought detailed reasons for the action.

According to Dawn , addressing the authorities, SHC Chief Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi questioned, Why are you making a spectacle of yourself in front of the world?and directed them to restore internet services and social media platforms nationwide.

These remarks were made during the court’s hearing of three petitions challenging the suspension of internet services. Lawyers Jibran Nasir and Hyder Raza, along with the Public Interest Law Association of Pakistan, filed petitions against various ministries and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, alleging obstruction of access to social media platforms and disruption of mobile internet and broadband services leading up to the February 8 polls. 

According to Business Recorder , during a hearing SHC ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to submit a report on the necessity and legality of the action. The petition argued that the shutdown hindered the dissemination of information and restricted citizens’ ability to participate in the electoral process. This development came as the court expressed concerns over the impact of internet shutdowns on democratic processes in the country.

On another front, the counsel representing the federal government stated that the decision to suspend internet services was based on recommendations from provincial governments. In response, the chief justice directed inquiries toward the Sindh government lawyer, who denied issuing orders for the shutdown, requesting time to furnish a detailed response. 

The court adjourned the hearing until March 5 to allow for further deliberation.

A nationwide suspension of cellular services occurred on February 8, coinciding with the voting day for millions of Pakistanis. According to Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) which condemned the shutdown of mobile connectivity and data services on election day throughout Pakistan. This action had raised concerns regarding the legitimacy of the entire electoral process and prompted inquiries into the government’s intentions behind keeping citizens uninformed.


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The post Sindh High Court Seeks Explanation for Election Day Internet Suspension first appeared on Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF).