Multiple regions across Pakistan have been affected by an Internet blackout as the country holds a general election.

Internet monitor NetBlocks flagged the widespread outages earlier today on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

GettyImages-1211781372 Karachi Pakistan.jpg
– Getty Images

"Real-time network data show that Internet blackouts are now in effect in multiple regions of Pakistan in addition to mobile network disruptions; the incident comes on election day and follows months of digital censorship targeting the political opposition," it said.

Pakistan's interior ministry has said the Internet shutdown is temporary and comes amid security fears.

"Recent surge in terrorist activities resulting in precious lives have stirred security environment in the country."

The election in Pakistan kicked off today but has been marred by allegations of corruption and poll rigging.

One of the candidates, Imran Khan, leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, was jailed last week along with his wife Bushra Bibi after a district court ruled their 2018 marriage violated the law.

The election is expected to be won by The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

A lower-than-expected voter turnout is anticipated, while more than 650,000 army, paramilitary, and police personnel have been drafted in to combat any protests.

Back in 2022, Internet services in Pakistan were disrupted after the government tried to limit communications during protests.

Telecom providers blamed the two-hour partial outage on a problem with the web filtering system, but the disruption appears linked to intentional state Internet shutdowns.

The disruption happened amid mass rallies in support of former prime minister Khan, who earlier that year became the first prime minister in Pakistan to be removed from office by a vote of no confidence.