Cell phone service suspension: Karachi and Lahore chambers differ on government’s move

KCCI backs the decision, LCCI calls for increased vigilance.

Farhan Zaheer August 23, 2012

KARACHI: Karachi and Lahore chambers – the two leading chambers of the country – have come up with widely differing views on the government’s decision to block cellular phone services on the eve of Eid, with the former supporting the move and the latter calling for better vigilance instead of disturbing people.

Both Karachi and Lahore were the most affected when the Ministry of Interior decided to block all cellular services in big cities because of terror threat just few hours before midnight on Sunday until morning the next day.

Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) President Mian Abrar Ahmad, in a press release on Thursday, praised the government’s move, saying it was indeed a timely decision and must have saved many lives.

Going a step forward, Businessmen Group Chairman and former KCCI president Siraj Kassam Teli said the suggestion of the interior ministry to stop all prepaid cellular services to determine identities of subscribers and to control crime was also appreciable.

On the other hand, Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh told The Express Tribune that there was widespread resentment in Lahore’s business community over the suspension of cellular services.

“The government should increase its vigilance and improve intelligence networks instead of disturbing the whole country on the ground of terror threat,” he said.

Security threats were different in Karachi and Lahore. The government may have good reasons to block cellular services in Karachi but why in other parts of the country, Sheikh said in reply to a question.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 24th, 2012.



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