ISLAMABAD: On the directives of the Ministry of Interior, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Friday suspended mobile internet services in at least six districts of Balochistan till July 31. The development can potentially hamper the utility of the much-talked about Result Transmission System (RTS) of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). The PTA has informed the Election Commission in writing that the mobile internet service has been suspended in Pishin, Killa Abdullah and Mastung, whereas the service is already unavailable in Awaran, Kech and Kalat since February this year. The RTS is an internet-based application introduced by the Election Commission to swiftly transmit polling results from respective constituencies to the Election Commission secretariat here. Needless to say the blocking of data services will render the RTS and Vote Verification SMS Service (8300), developed by the Election Commission and the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), ineffective in these districts. It may be mentioned here that mobile internet service also remains suspended in most parts of tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa since June 2016, though peace and normalcy has largely returned to the once militancy-infested regions.
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