Islamabad [Pakistan] : Pakistan has announced the closure of its borders with neighbouring Afghanistan and Iran to ensure security during the upcoming general elections slated for February 8, as per Dawn
The decision, disclosed by Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch on Wednesday, aims to maintain stability during the polling process.
The FO spokesperson, Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, 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, as reported by Dawn.
Normal operations would resume on February 9."
According to Dawn, authorities have duly informed both Afghanistan and Iran regarding the closure.
Notably, tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan have led to frequent closures of border crossings at Torkham and Chaman in the recent past. However, despite recent tensions and exchanges of missile fire, the border with Iran remained open last month. With approximately 128 million voters poised to participate in electing members of the national assembly and four provincial assemblies, stringent security measures have been implemented.
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, in particular, has witnessed a surge in terrorist activity leading up to the polls.
Twin terrorist attacks in Pishin and Qilla Saifullah on Wednesday resulted in casualties and raised concerns about election security.
Despite challenges, authorities have affirmed their commitment to conducting the elections as scheduled in Balochistan.
Similarly, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) province has been 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.