The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Tuesday announced bank holiday across the country on February 8 (Thursday), the day of much-anticipated general election.
Pakistan is set to stage the most crucial polls in its history as the ballot takes place in a few days, after more than five years.
A notification issued by the central bank stated that the banks across the country will remain closed in light of the notification of February 8 as a public holiday to enable the voters to exercise their right of franchise freely and conveniently.
“The State Bank of Pakistan will remain closed on February 8, 2024 (Thursday) being public holiday in the country as notified by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to enable the voters to exercise their right of franchise freely and conveniently in General Election, 2024,” it read.
Earlier, the electoral body issued a notification stating that electioneering for Thursday’s elections would end at 12 on the night between February 6 and 7, 2024, citing Section 182 of the Elections Act 2017, which prohibits any political activity after the specified time period.
Section 182 of the Elections Act, 2017 reads: “Prohibition of public meetings during certain period: No person shall convene, hold or attend any public meeting, or promote or join in any procession, within the area of a constituency or, in the case of the Senate election, a Province, during a period of forty-eight hours ending at midnight ‘following’ the conclusion of the poll for any election in that constituency or Province”.
Likewise, Section 183 reads: “Penalty for illegal practice: A person guilty of the offence of illegal practice shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine which may extend to one hundred thousand rupees or with both”.