Keeping alive Malik tradition to shutdown cellphone services
(Flare (Pakistan) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Keeping alive the tradition of previous regime under the command of former interior minister Rehman Malik, the PMLN led government follows the footsteps and suspended mobile phone services in different cities to avert any terror incident on the martyrdom day 4th Cliph of Muslims, Hazrat Ali (RA). Mobile phone services remained blocked in Karachi from six am to 8pm whereas the services remained suspend till 6 pm in certain areas of Lahore. Similarly, the phone services remain suspended in Rawalpindi, Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Khairpur, Jhelum, Hyderabad, Multan and Sialkot and many other cities.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) sources told the Flare that all mobile phone service providers had already been instructed about suspension of phone services on account of security arrangements for martyrdom dayof Hazrat Ali (RA).
Most probably, the government of Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif will suspend the mobile phone services on Eid. If this happened that mean the government has no mechanism and strategy to combat the terror activities just suspend the mobile phone services and tease the general public.
This is the first time that mobile phone services were blocked after the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) government came into power following the May 11, 2013 general elections. On the sit-in of Tahirul Qdir in Islamabad, cellular services suspended in parts of Pakistan owing to reports of attacks on Tahirul Qadri and the long march participants.
Due to security threats, the mobile services shut-down on the 11th of May 2013 in Pakistan. Ishtiaq Ahmad who was the Secretary ECP informed earlier that mobile services would not face suspension on the Election Day. But he provided a hint that due to security threats, the mobile services shutdown temporarily if security threats arise. People should get the information of their electoral area via sending SMS to 8300 prior to the Election Day. This way if the mobile services were suspended on the Election Day, they already had the required information.
Rehman Malik who was the former interior minister, used to suspend the cellular services on certain occasions and the results were good enough. Making used of Rehman Malik’s formula, the interim government made use of suspension of cellular services to counter the security threats. Although Rehman Malik faced a lot of criticism from the general public but the results were good and many events where possible terrorism attacks were quite evident were countered effectively.
Every mobile phone user in Pakistan especially in Lahore, Karachi, Quetta and Multan will be aware of the cellular service complete shutdown. This blockage of cellular service was directed by the government due to security threats in some parts of the country.
It is pertaining to mention there that the mobile companies lost billion of rupees due shutdown on special occasion like Eids. The amount of money lost by mobile companies because of a stunt directed by Interior minister Rehman Malik.
The thing which is very interesting here is that not a single cellular company protested due to this service shutdown. Due to this humble attitude of companies towards government can cause more such service shutdowns. The cellular phone companies will review their future investment plans if the government continues to suspend cellular phone services due to security reasons, which could cause them millions of rupees losses once again. The foreign companies may postpone their plans of billions of dollars investment regarding 3G and branchless banking as their interests are not protected under the law by the government and its authorities, an official of mobile phone operator said. The mobile phone companies are facing decline in revenues due to stiff competition and high operational cost, however the government’s so-called security measure of shutting down cellular phone networks is aggravating their grievances.
Eidul Fitr and Eidul Azha are two biggest high traffic seasons of calls and SMS in which cellular phone companies make handsome profits by cashing in on the pre-Eid commercial activities and greetings. The number of exchange of voice and data services increase to five times higher than routine despite the fact that companies shelve off their calling packages and SMS bundles temporarily for avoiding network jam.
Not only the cellular companies but the government will also lose its revenues from the sector as well, an official of another mobile phone company said and added that desired results are not achieved by disruption of services but by effective measures of security agencies.
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