MELBOURNE: Suspension of mobile phone services on major religious events has become a routine in Pakistan on grounds that it prevents terrorist acts from taking place. This argument is very strange and ludicrous; it means that the government is employing tactics that simply aim at avoiding the problem instead of tackling it head on and rooting it out. The world over, telecommunications help in nabbing criminals and often lead investigators to bust gangs, except in Pakistan, where it is the other way round. It is a centuries-old method to set a trap and catch the culprits. As the Pakistani internal security chief admits himself that most incidents of terrorism involve mobile phone sims, therefore, mobile service should be closed down on major religious events. One should raise the question that if the authorities know so much about the misuse of mobile sims, then why don’t they take action against such lawbreakers when their sim information can very easily lead the authorities to such people.
Modern telecommunications technology has helped investigators across the world to locate exact trouble spots and carry out targeted actions to wipe terrorists out. In Pakistan, instead of making use of mobile sims to trace troublemakers, the government is simply allowing terrorists to modify their tactics. I hope the government reviews its strategy against terrorism and uses telecommunications as a tool in tracing and exterminating the menace.
Malik Atif Mahmood Majoka
Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2013.