Suspending services: The best security measure?

Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, a few hours before Eidul Fitr informed the country that cellular network will remain suspended from 12 am to 10 am on August19 – 20 due to security reasons.

The government was lauded for the pre-emptive measures it undertook to avert terrorism. However, the inconvenience this disruption caused people also holds much significance.

Did the government act well to suspend the network in a hasty move or could the situation have been dealt with in a more appropriate manner?

Was shutting down the entire network for millions the only plausible solution to avert a catastrophe?

Did this move make it difficult for people communicate with their loved ones on Eid especially when cellular phones are the most used form of communication in Pakistan?

Given the law and order situation of Pakistan, did the government provide any alternative to the people of Pakistan in case of an emergency?

Share with us the details of your experience when the power to communicate was literally taken away from Pakistanis.


Comments Guide: encourages its readers to share their views on our forums. We try to accommodate all users' comments but this is not always possible due to space and other constraints. Please our read our comments guidelines below for more information:

1. Please be aware that the views of our bloggers and commenters do not necessarily reflect's policies.

2. Though comments appear to have been published immediately after posting, they are actually forwarded to a moderation queue before publication.

3. Dawn reserves the right to remove or edit comments that are posted on this blog.

4. Language that is offensive to any race, religion, ethnicity, gender or nationality is not permitted.

5. Avoid posting comments in ALL CAPS. Commenters are also encouraged to avoid text contractions like 'u r.'

6. Do not cross-post comments across multiple blog entries.

7. Any comments posted to a blog entry should be relevant to the topic or discussion.

8. Do not spam the comment section.

37 Responses to “Suspending services: The best security measure?”

  1. Fahad says:

    The most preposterous security measure any body has ever taken. Pakistan where already landlines are highly unreliable, mobile devices are the only source of communication in case of some emergency. This is synonyms to asking people staying at home all the time in order to be safe.

  2. anony says:

    If it resulted in no terrorism acts and no bomb blasts, I say it was an excellent move.

  3. Ahmad Mirza says:

    Let’s see who was the beneficiary in this all ?????

  4. Taha says:

    Yes, as there are hundreds of millions of SIMs operational without having correct data. Despite repetative calls of Government, Telcos are not taking action just because they don’t want to cut their revenue so a strict SHUT DOWN ALL call remained the only solution when there exist severe threats of terrorism.
    Yes, I also face problem as my family remained failed to trace me and contact me for long hours and if some accident would happen to me they would not know about it for many more hours but its good that the Eid of the Nation remained peaceful if not joyful.

  5. Nadeem Shah says:

    The security measures require tackling the problem and not shutting down everyday life. Mr Malik is keen to announce that a serious security incident has been averted! This is according to him andwhat exactly he has done to deal with the culprits other than running away from them. Don’t fool the nation and don’t make security a joke.

  6. Usman Aslam says:

    The way I see it the terrorists won, again. They did not have to take all that trouble of making, delivering and detonating a bomb which would cause damage to life and property within a limited radius. Instead the Government did their job for them.

    The entire cities were crippled due to breakdown of communication infrastructure. The financial loss must have been in hundreds of millions and who knows how many lost their lives due to lack of communication to medical services. Not to mention the sheer stress; anxiety and confusion that must have been caused by lack of communication infrastructure.

    How else would you define terrorism?

  7. Happy says:

    They have taken away our electricity and our gas . They have taken our security , our hopes and our money. Did we expect them not to take away our mobiles?

  8. Wick says:

    Well, I can’t really comment on this suspension from government’s perspective but I do want to beleive that they had a good reason for doing so. But from consumers’ point of view, this move didn’t serve for good. Besides this would’ve brought a substantial monetary loss to operators providing the services along with a slight trust deficit. This move shouldn’t be applauded because it only signifies the need of having some better measures to avoid such security risks & a proper contigency plan.

    • Usman Ajmal says:

      We as Pakistanis need to realise one thing. You only get treated the way you demand to get treated. Blocking cell-phones is the most pathetic, lazy and inefficient way to stop terrorists. The interior minister knows better, but he knows that we will accept anything and not complain. So start complaning and learn to stand up for your rights.

      Western democracy was not a fluke, the public in the West knows how to stand up for their rights. We need to learn to do the same if we ever want to be treated like respectable citizens.

    • Cyrus Howell says:

      Good writing and clear thinking.

  9. Agha Ata says:

    I have been reading newspapers just to see Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, saying something sensible. but now, I give up! on Facebook on Facebook