The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Friday suspended mobile internet services in several districts of Balochistan till July 31 on the directives of the interior ministry, thus casting doubts on the effectiveness of the Result Transmission System (RTS) during the upcoming general elections.

The RTS is an internet-based application introduced by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to transmit polling results from constituencies to the commission.

According to a letter sent by PTA on July 20, the mobile internet services have been suspended in Pishin, Killa Abdullah and Mastung. Meanwhile, the service is already unavailable in Awaran, Kech and Kalat since February.

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Through its letter, a copy of which is available with DawnNewsTV, PTA notified ECP asking it to take "necessary action" in wake of the suspension of internet services.

"The blocking of data services will render the RTS and Vote Verification SMS Service (8300), developed by the ECP/ National Database and Registration Authority, ineffective in these districts," it read.

Mobile internet services also remain suspended in most parts of tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa since June 2016.

Result Transmission System

For the first time in Pakistan, Nadra introduced an Android application which enables election officers to send the results to the ECP in real time.

With the help of RTS, all Presiding Officers (PO) will be able to transmit Form 45 (containing tabulated results of the polling station) via their phone to the ECP on election day.

The app also automatically uses GPS to record the result’s location and the time of the upload. The system will be used to announce constituency results as they are collated.

‘Click ECP 2018’

Besides a short message service, the commission has launched ‘Click ECP 2018’ application on Android’s PlayStore.

The app can be download free of charge on your smartphones to access voting data and polling-related details. Through this app, voters can easily find out their polling stations, whether their vote is registered or not, and the constituency in which the vote is registered.

Through ‘Click ECP 2018’, voters can also stay updated with the commission’s official press statements and election results.

ECP establishes information centres

The ECP has established General Election Information Centres in all its provincial, regional and district offices. The commission has also released the details of all centres on its website.