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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

“Which Security Concern Now?” – Citizens Question as Authorities Block Social Media AGAIN

Amidst political turmoil following the General Elections 2024, reports confirm a nationwide disruption to social media platform X in Pakistan, sparking outrage and raising concerns over electoral transparency and freedom of expression.

Reports from internet monitor Netblocks and Pakistani media outlets confirm a nationwide disruption to X (formerly Twitter) in Pakistan amidst political turmoil following the recently concluded General Elections 2024. Netblocks highlighted the incident, linking it to the controversial election held under an internet and mobile network blackout. This disruption has sparked outrage, with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) condemning the move as “absolutely shameful,” accusing authorities of attempting to prevent the exposure of alleged electoral fraud.

 

Pertinent to mention that mobile and internet services across Pakistan were blocked during the polls, leading to various difficulties for voters. Many analysts have assessed that the internet was disrupted to facilitate certain authorities in manipulating election results. However, social media played a crucial role, exposing the shameless rigging by authorities, particularly on X.

Authorities contended that the internet was blocked for ‘security’ purposes. The fact that the internet has been blocked again raises questions about this claim because citizens are asking: which security concerns are prompting the authorities to take these measures now?

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is continuously issuing manipulated results for the rigged elections. It has been more than 48 hours since the polling ended, yet the results are still not officially out. Evidence suggests that those responsible for the unfair election are now struggling to cover up their actions.

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PTI-backed independent candidates are leading with a clear victory according to the official results. However, many constituencies have been awarded to PML-N candidates who received fewer votes than PTI-backed candidates. In particular, Rehana Dar and Salman Akram Raja of PTI were leading their constituencies by a significant margin. However, on Friday, their votes were inexplicably reduced, and their opponents were declared victors. Additionally, many polling agents have come forward with proof of how ‘security’ personnel barged into offices to manipulate the results.

Amnesty International has criticized the decision to suspend telecommunications and mobile internet services on election day, citing it as a violation of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. The move to impede access to information during the elections has drawn condemnation from various quarters, including human rights organizations, amidst concerns over transparency and democratic processes in Pakistan.

As the disruption to X and delays in election results persist, there is a growing demand for transparency and accountability in Pakistan’s electoral process. The need to uphold democratic principles, ensure freedom of expression, and safeguard the integrity of elections remains paramount. International observers continue to monitor the situation closely, urging authorities to address concerns regarding the electoral process and restore access to social media platforms to facilitate open discourse and exchange of information.