Dawn News

Interior Minister Rehman Malik. – File Photo














ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Sunday said the cellular services will be suspended in some particular parts of the country that are under the risk of terrorist attacks during Eid-ul-Fitr.

Talking to media on Sunday here after presiding over a high- level meeting with the Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) officials, the minister said that terror threats existed during the Eid holidays due to which mobile services would be shut down.

The minister said it could not be said at what specific time the mobile service would be suspended due to security reasons.

“The cellular service would be suspended in a surprise manner in the sensitive parts of the country, however, timeframe could not be given,” he said. He has apologised to the people for any inconvenience this could cause them.

Later on the Ministry of Interior issued a letter to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority directing mobile network operators in the country to block services from 12:00 am tonight till 10:00 am on Monday morning.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that mobile services have been blocked in only four cities including, Lahore, Karachi, Multan and Quetta.

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Comments (95) Closed

Aug 19, 2012 03:52pm
Nayyar, AllahHafiz to country or Rehman Malik!??
dr zahid
Aug 19, 2012 10:01pm
if govt cant give anything they shouldnt take the only joy in eid..communication with family and friends
Aug 20, 2012 02:17am
Y jamming networks only in 4 cities??? Y not whole country?
Aug 19, 2012 04:01pm
Inefficient Govt.Cant protect its own countrymen. Farooq
Aug 19, 2012 03:50pm
Well, shutting the country down is cool. Why don't they shut down the government as well as it is not working and hold elections. That will make lots of people happy :)
Jamal Jan
Aug 19, 2012 02:03pm
How this man can be responsible for the millions of people security. The whole system is messed up there.
Aug 19, 2012 10:28pm
Same on this govt. of getting such incapable pplz on board
Aug 19, 2012 05:21pm
It's because of people like Nayyar that I feel we Pakistanis are getting exactly what we deserve - Regardless of how ridiculous it gets we always find a way of saying "Hamare achay kay liye hi hoga"
Aug 19, 2012 11:01pm
Because at this movement that does not seems to be needed. Your question is akin to a question where a doctor says that a person suffering from headache should take a pill but you are questioning that why a brain surgery is not performed for headache?
Dr Satpal Jabbal
Aug 19, 2012 11:03pm
Eid Mubarak our Friends.
sardar khan
Aug 19, 2012 11:05pm
we live with out mobile phone before,we wont born with mobile phone,why you guys blame your self ,you are the Iphone.Ipad,Itune generation.dont wing and blame Malik.if is save one life its worth it.
Aug 20, 2012 02:50am
Very surprising! Only four cities ? What about Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Faisalabad ? The most recent terrorist attacks were near Islamabad. Most probably all the ministers have gathered in Islamabad with high security measures already taken. Let the middle man and the poor suffer with one more facility blocked. Hope there will be no load shedding during Eid Days all over Pakistan.
Aug 20, 2012 12:52am
So you guys want something happen people lost life and than you people why goverment not doing anything. People of Pakistan make no sense.
Aug 20, 2012 12:55am
Instead of shutting down the service they should try to arrest the terrorist who killed innocent clerics just one day before the Eid.
Aug 19, 2012 01:41pm
Mr.Malik better you close down the offices and activities of ban organizations, openly working with different names.
Aug 19, 2012 01:54pm
If shutting the mobile service saves a life, go for it.
Aug 19, 2012 01:51pm
incompetent government
Aug 19, 2012 01:39pm
Root cause is the maddrassas close them down that would be a start in the right direction
Muneer -
Aug 19, 2012 11:55pm
go to the root cause... terror threats exist from whom islamic fanatics.
Aug 19, 2012 01:46pm
What a farce? Pillion riding ban and now the cell phones, why not ban the burqas and hijaabs? Why not learn a thing or two from Sri Lanka unless you still wants to pursue the old dictates .
Aug 20, 2012 12:10am
Whats the point of doing this...this is not the solution, but just a temporary remedy..you need to do something in the long term..if you cant..you should step down..
Aug 19, 2012 01:32pm
Why was he ever elected.
Aug 19, 2012 01:32pm
There is a war going on here so government should go to all extent to sage guard innocent people from fundos. Go ahead and do all you need to do to protect the country.
Aug 19, 2012 01:32pm
I want to comment further but what the heck. Let's not anticipate that the terrorists may resort to satellite telephony.
Ayoub Hassnain
Aug 19, 2012 01:26pm
yeah riz u are rite but actually network company has not paid monthly so therefore he accused of terrorism.
Aug 19, 2012 09:23pm
Why not shut down the supply of food and water to the whole country since the terrorists are making use of that too. What rubbish.
Aug 19, 2012 08:21pm
If you actually think suspending cellular services will aid in curbing terrorism, you're living in absolute oblivion and need to have a reality check. For starters people cannot call anybody for help if they are stuck. People with vehicles installed with trackers were left to fend for themselves alone on the roads with their vehicles in the middle of no where because cars were left immobile due to battery shut down from tacker company end. While I tried to get help for 4 hours, I was a witness to two accidents where an ambulance could not be called for. People could not get in touch with their families and a lot more.So be realistic when you're criticizing the "common man" for reacting against an extremely ignorant, negligent, incompetent Government.
Aug 19, 2012 08:13pm
You people whine about "security lapse" and "law and order" , and when suitable steps are taken for the cause, u whine about "why cellular service" , and "it's for ptcl" !? No wonder you'll never be able to progress as a nation. People like you are here to abuse, criticise every move in a negative way, just because you don't have anything else to do, or because that's all you can actually do! Feel sorry for people like you.
Dr Satpal Jabbal
Aug 19, 2012 08:10pm
This is SAD. God Bless You.
Aug 19, 2012 07:59pm
saleem its not easy to track every single call or msg... jammers are useful but installin them on suh a short notice is not possible and quite an expensive thing to do...we should just pray nothin happens and be patient for just one night.
Aug 19, 2012 07:57pm
well this has worked in other cities like quetta and its a very wise decision...i think a single life is more impt then sending greeting msgs and calls for chand raat...just be patient everyone..its a matter of few hours.
Aug 19, 2012 07:54pm
this strategy has worked in other parts of country specially in quetta where thy block it on impt days (e.g 14th Aug) and it was helpful...i think we should be patient and let the govt do wht thy think is better...i think a single civilian live is more impt then sending and bombardin ppl with hand raat msgs...grt work Govt....prevention us better thn cure....
Aug 19, 2012 07:49pm
Phhhheeeeww I feel so safe now ! Nominate this genius for Nobel Peace Prize.
Aug 19, 2012 07:49pm
Government has vowed to take all each and everything away when we truly need it. During Ramazan no light at sehri and iftar, during summers light barely comes for an hour in a day, during winter there is no gas and during eid there is no telephone network. Wow what is lovely Govt. we have!
Aug 19, 2012 07:48pm
Blind leading the deaf and blind!
Cyrus Howell
Aug 19, 2012 07:39pm
That's a point.
Cyrus Howell
Aug 19, 2012 07:14pm
Assume they are intercepting the government's phone calls.
ahmad butt
Aug 19, 2012 07:14pm
Remember the echoes of Democracy is the best revenge, and since we endorsed this democracy willingly , quit complaining. I wonder about those who have had medical or other emergencies on how tough it would be for them. Why cant the army and this democratic leadership enforce a bad on weapons, and control the flow of them. The only message i want to text my family and friends now is to vote sensibly come next election rather than Eid mubarak and i encourage all readers to do the same. On a softer note, rehman malik wants us to relive the PTCL landline moments, and hopefuly wipe the dust off our home phones for those who havent touched them in a while
Aug 19, 2012 07:10pm
Shame on our government.They can't secure us but they are just playing with us.This is what a country should do when there exist a threat.They never take steps to get the terrorist,but they always keep nation in difficultydue to small class of terrorist.SHAME ON PAKISTAN GOVERNMENT..
Cyrus Howell
Aug 19, 2012 07:01pm
Malik's entire job is to make people afraid so they can turn to the expertise of the PPP. Sleep tight tonight. Your government is awake. " My job is done. Everyone is worrying. Now I can go and celebrate Eidul Fitr. I've done well this year thanks to God."
Aug 19, 2012 06:55pm
He was never elected. Rather selected by PPP Co Chairman.
Aug 19, 2012 06:54pm
we want what happen in egypt
Babar A Chaudhry
Aug 19, 2012 06:40pm
How People will communicate with family & friends on this Eid, By Post !!!
Aug 19, 2012 06:33pm
What a policy !! Bravo bravo !! While we're at it lets close down the parliament , PM and president Houses. They are also a big "security threat"
Amin Hussain
Aug 19, 2012 06:29pm
Rehman Malik, we salute you sir. No one else could get away with the stunts you pull!
Aug 19, 2012 06:29pm
I think law and enforcement agencies have become handicapped to curb terrorism so they suggested government to close down mobile phone services rather than tracing out terrorists and their origin due to a large number of SIMs in use which has been issued for fake and proxy identifications after the advent of GSM technology in Pakistan in 2001 on large scale. PTA under the auspices of dictator Perveiz musharraf, devised a very lenient policy for SIM sales which was not conforming to the national security standards to full fill the vested interest of imposed regimes. Roots of terrorism in Pakisan dig to Zia,s dictator ship who adopted Pro US policies and opened new horizons of militancy and terrorism in Pakistan. His successor dictator Perviez musharraf again adopted Pro US polices with heart and soul and divided whole Pakistan into liberal, enlightened moderated and conservative fractions due to which nation is facing mence of huge incorrigible terrorism presently. Moreover, democracies grown up under the shadows of both dictators are unable to avert the situation of being worsening due to lack of democratic wisdom and vision.
Aug 19, 2012 06:28pm
james bond in action
Aug 19, 2012 06:26pm
wont affect!! jo hona hoga woh hokar rahega :P
Gerry D'Cunha
Aug 19, 2012 06:24pm
Unless you do not find the root cause to end terrorism, Rahman Malik's tactics of shutdown of mobile services will not work. Rahman Malik and his team should first detect all those scroundles recruited in his intelligence services;;police forces;arm forces and other sensitive agencies - also detect islamic fundamentalists in these organisation.
zahid Baloch
Aug 19, 2012 06:14pm
Due to terrorist threat cell phone service is suspended in Karachi. Thanks Rehman Malik. Don't eliminate the threat, just close the service just like several road in Karachi. Great solution. All terrorists have to do now is issue a threat against electricity supply, water supply, transport and food supply. Rehman Malik will close all those as well.
Aug 19, 2012 05:48pm
this is not the solution to problem of terrorism... govt should find other steps of preventing...... terrorists will do their work without these taken steps if they want to..... they're more sound than our govt officials.
Aug 19, 2012 05:44pm
I laugh at the policy makers of this country.... and making cellular networks wont solve any problems...
Aug 19, 2012 05:35pm
Great security arrangement and intelligence work by incompetetnt government. Cut off the whole country's phone line for a threat in specific area.
Aug 19, 2012 05:11pm
this person will always disseminate false and offensive news.........
Aug 19, 2012 05:26pm
you're a govt loser then
Aug 19, 2012 05:27pm
knowthetruth :-)
Aug 19, 2012 04:45pm
Can't stop terrorist so they will stop people.. @
Aug 19, 2012 04:57pm
ya i also support govt even when they will ban the electricity,water,food transport caz they are used by terrorist..:p isnt it? get a life bro!
Aug 19, 2012 04:27pm
Stopping suicide bombers by jamming mobile connections, seem totally legit to me! (and yeah that's sarcasm).
Aug 19, 2012 04:54pm
instead of shutdown they should use devise to trcak down the connvesation and installed mobile jamer at important places. saleem
Kashif, Riyadh, KSA
Aug 19, 2012 04:50pm
maybe the next step would be to sold this country or support US to start civil war to break this country to save these traitors in government
Aug 19, 2012 04:35pm
Pre-emptive measures ??? and that too Pakistani Government? hahahaha.. that's the funniest joke of 2012 !!!! with all the events taking place in our country, what KIND of pre-emptive measures you're talking about? We are not even a reaction country, EVEN when our intelligence knows about an event that will take place, we CAN'T even STOP that!!! funny Nayyar, very funny!
Aug 19, 2012 04:30pm
i don't know whats going on in Pakistan. have you ever not even surprised in that situation that surrounds yours around. can any one tell me that when and how this exploitation will come at an end.....
Aug 19, 2012 04:31pm
Shutting down networks just to show people you're taking some action isnt going to prove anything. Terrorist activities have been going on since so long - non-stop. 24/7 If you dint take some precautions then, then why now?
Aug 19, 2012 04:30pm
Aug 19, 2012 04:27pm
What a farce! Next the government will ban people from driving cars, then later every one will be forced to stay indoors. Instead of doing their duty the government is acting like an ostrich, putting it's head inside the ground, and causing inconvenience to it's citizens.
Aug 19, 2012 04:16pm
Better impose curfew on eid. The best way to save common man
Aug 19, 2012 04:13pm
why he himself does not shut down. why we been tortured slowly???? what he want from us people.!!!
Aug 19, 2012 04:04pm
i am out of country for last 5 yrs and i am celebrating eid today, cant even talk to my family...what
Cyrus Howell
Aug 19, 2012 04:05pm
Good Idea!
Aug 19, 2012 01:24pm
LOL :]
shah Afridi
Aug 19, 2012 01:20pm
This is not the sole solution of controlling terrorism that govt close down the mobile service, do find the root cause for the eliminating terrorism.
Agha Ata
Aug 19, 2012 01:16pm
RIZ, I was going to say the same thing, but you snatched my words. :)
Aug 19, 2012 01:15pm
I fully support the government whatever steps and preemptive measures it takes to protect the lives of its citizens. AllahHafiz.
Aug 19, 2012 01:14pm
this guy makes statement everyday. He is president puppy.
Aug 19, 2012 03:23pm
yar ye banda hamesha koi ghalt khabr hi sunaye ga..................
Aug 19, 2012 03:19pm
Try starting with right kind of eduction for God's sake!!
Aug 19, 2012 01:04pm
why don't you shut the whole country down and lock everyone in their house???
Muhammad Musa
Aug 19, 2012 02:18pm
Such statements are just to show that we are doing something or to divert the attention of the public. Can anybody tell me how many sucide attacks have taken place at public places or on such occassions ! On the other hand consider attacks on GHQ Rawalpindi, Naval base Karachi and Kamara, the latest. And countless similar attacks.
Aug 19, 2012 02:17pm
Agreed. Just like over the border in India , the dumb govt wants to cover its inept handling of the situation and blames Pakistan. These politicians are the ones ruining South Asia today.
Aug 19, 2012 02:14pm
well said
Aug 19, 2012 02:05pm
Now that's what u call a truly progressive country. Keep it up
Duraiz Khan
Aug 19, 2012 03:41pm
well closing mobile services is not a complete solution to counter terrorists, govt. and agencies always knew before, as which are the main areas to be targeted. Proper security measure should be taken to tap the calls and reach there immediately.
Aug 19, 2012 03:40pm
How can anyone do that, think of those people who have to make calls every minute for the smooth running of their businesses, isn't it a huge loss for the economy which in case of Pakistan is already in a down trend?
Ejaz Ali
Aug 19, 2012 02:42pm
Riz and Agha. In which world you people are living, your brothers in arm sacrificing their lives for you and you just can't stand few hours of mobile services shut down so as to deny these extremist to misuse cellular technology to commit heinous crimes against innocent public. I am sorry either you are ignorent or illiterate or have no sympathies for common Pakistani.
Aug 19, 2012 03:12pm
what can you do by shutting down mobile services? you're the ones who are the threat to us, the ones who cause this so called "terror" in us. stop messing with us, the people of 'your' country. if you really wanna do something for your country, resign!
Aug 20, 2012 04:35am
Eid Mubarak everyoneee!!!!!
Aug 20, 2012 05:22am
I am simply disappointed by this decision from the government, they should find ways rather than banning ppl from basic necessities...
Aug 20, 2012 07:58am
Dear Ned! if this can save few of your brothers lives so that they can also celebrate their eid with their dear ones then its good not bad.
Aug 20, 2012 08:34am
I was wondering what the phenomenon 'EXTREMISM' really is?
Haji Ashfaq
Aug 20, 2012 09:36am
He was not elected - selected.
Tariq Aslam
Aug 20, 2012 05:19pm
A brilliant idea.
Aug 20, 2012 05:47pm
I think first time he has taken some efficient decision otherwise people will engage the whole night. there was not any other option in a very short and right time. I dont like Malik but favoring him in this case.
Aug 20, 2012 08:02pm
Insha ALLAH!!!
Gerry D'Cunha
Aug 21, 2012 11:53am
Its so much easy for the goverment to curb by force, the poor man's entitlement. Now I hear that pre-paid sims will be banned - what next to come?