Islamabad, February 8 (ANI): In preparation for the general elections scheduled for February 8 in Pakistan, authorities have announced the closure of borders with Afghanistan and Iran to ensure security during the polling process. The decision was disclosed by Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch on Wednesday.
The FO spokesperson stated, “To ensure full security during the general elections to be held in Pakistan on February 8, border crossings with Afghanistan and Iran would remain closed both for cargo and pedestrians.” Normal operations are expected to resume on February 9. Both Afghanistan and Iran have been duly informed about the temporary closure.
Tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan have previously resulted in frequent closures of border crossings at Torkham and Chaman. However, despite recent tensions and exchanges of missile fire, the border with Iran remained open last month.
With approximately 128 million voters set to participate in electing members of the national assembly and four provincial assemblies, stringent security measures have been put in place. Army troops have been deployed, and nearly half of the 90,000-plus polling stations nationwide have been marked as sensitive.
The province of Balochistan has experienced a surge in terrorist activity leading up to the polls. Twin terrorist attacks in Pishin and Qilla Saifullah on Wednesday resulted in casualties, raising concerns about election security. Despite these challenges, authorities have affirmed their commitment to conducting the elections as scheduled in Balochistan.
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) province is also on high alert following frequent terrorist incidents, including an attack on a police station in Dera Ismail Khan where 10 police officials were martyred. Observers anticipate significant challenges for authorities and law enforcement agencies in ensuring trouble-free polls in both provinces, given the heightened violence. However, authorities remain resolute in their determination to safeguard the democratic process from disruption by terrorist elements.