PARACHINAR, Sept 10: The prolonged ban on cellular phone service and occurrence of technical fault in landlines have forced the dwellers of Kurram Agency to switch over to Afghan cellular service.

The tribal people of Kurram have no other option but to use Afghan cellular companies’ service as the government has imposed ban on services of Pakistani cellular phone companies since 2008. Presently MTN, Etisalat are operating in Afghanistan and its signals are active in Kurram Agency. “Users pay five times more to Afghan companies as compared to Pakistani cellular companies,” an official told Dawn on condition of anonymity.

He said that owing to road construction and sabotage activities the fibre optic cable had damaged at several points. “Presently we are using DRS system, which usually develops fault,” the official said.

Asif Ali, a resident of Kurram, told Dawn that the landline in his house always remains dead.

He said that they were facing difficulties in contacting their relatives. “One of my brothers is a daily wager abroad and anther is a student in Peshawar so we have no other option but to use the service of Afghan cellular companies,” he added.

Political Agent Syed Shahab Ali Shah said that cellular phone service in Kurram had banned owing to its misuse in carrying out militant activities.

He assured that soon the ban would be lifted and the service would be restored to facilitate tribal people.—Correspondent

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