KARACHI: The provincial governments in the country have, once again, suspended cellular services across the country to avert any security risks during the Muharram processions. In a county where mobile phone service has become the primary mode of communication, suspension of the services creates more problems than it could solve. It rather suspends the day-to-day tasks one performs. Also, suspending the service doesn’t entirely eliminate the risk of a terrorist attack, in fact it makes people more vulnerable to unsafe situations when one is not able to inform their family or those concerned about their whereabouts. It halts economic and business activity and makes it nearly impossible for people to contact emergency services like those of ambulances, fire fighters, etc. Governments across the world have tackled the menace of terrorism in their countries without suspending cellular services. The government here too should devise and implement a counterterrorism strategy that doesn’t impede day-to-day chores and ensures minimising security risks.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 30th, 2017.