ISLAMABAD: On Friday, Dr. Gohar Ejaz, the acting interior minister, declared that a total of 56 terrorist incidents occurred on February 8, Election Day, to undermine the election process.
Giving reporters a briefing on the general state of security as well as the particular difficulties of Election Day, he stated that the largest task facing the caretaker administration was safeguarding the nation’s citizens on that day. The minister revealed specifics about the victims, saying that the incidents claimed the lives of three military jawans, two levy jawans, seven police officers, four civilians, and two youngsters.
According to him, following the two deadliest terrorist acts that claimed the lives of 28 innocent people, the government took the painful decision in a high-level meeting on February 7 to shut down cell service nationwide. According to information acquired by the government, the minister, terrorists planned to use exploded explosives to carry out their activities in several locations. He praised the successful conduct of the general elections across the nation, which was made possible by the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of regular and civil armed forces, as well as other law enforcement organizations.
During the elections, Dr. Gohar revealed that 61 violent incidents had been reported nationwide. He said that all of the incidents were being thoroughly examined and that the perpetrators would face consequences. He claimed that just one day before the elections, terrorist acts claimed the lives of 28 people and seriously injured 64 more, requiring the state to take many precautions to protect its populace.
According to him, this also involved the tough choice to halt mobile phone service nationwide to deny terrorists the ability to plan, coordinate, and carry out terrorist acts. The minister claimed that mobile devices had a key role in setting off the trigger mechanisms of contemporary explosive devices intended to cause large-scale casualties. The administration made a decision based on the clear choice between the citizens’ safety and the delay in the election process, he added, even though it was fully aware that the suspension of mobile services would affect the dissemination of results across the nation.
He insisted that it was a tedious and time-consuming process to physically convey the election results from widely dispersed voting booths, particularly in remote areas of Balochistan, KP, and even in rural Punjab and Sindh, with such stringent security measures. The minister claimed that despite the strict security measures in place, there were 61 violent occurrences on Election Day, including terrorist attacks using highly skilled weapons and explosives that claimed the lives of 16 people and left 54 injured.
All the organizations that took part in this historic event, he said, should be commended and thanked rather than criticized or disparaged, particularly the Pakistani Election Commission which had less control over the security environment.