No loopholes: Cellular networks likely to remain suspended

Religious scholars in sensitive districts extend full support to maintain peace.

Umer Farooq November 14, 2013
Religious scholars in sensitive districts extend full support to maintain peace. PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR: Keeping in view the uncertain law and order situation, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Home and Tribal Affairs Department has requested the federal government to block cellular networks on the 9th and 10th of Muharram.

The department has advocated a similar view on several previous occasions, particularly in Muharram and during Eid prayers. An official of the home department told The Express Tribune the department has advised the federal interior ministry to keep cellular networks suspended throughout the two days to ensure peaceful processions.

“We sent them the request on Monday but are yet to receive any response,” said the official while requesting anonymity. “These two days are very important and the department does not want to take any risks.”

He added additional precautionary measures were being taken to ensure any untoward situation during Muharram processions is avoided.

Another official of the home departments said the department held a meeting with senior officials and devised a strategy to provide maximum security to Muharram processions.

Meanwhile, the commissioner’s office issued a press statement with details of the ban imposed on the entry of Afghan refugees to Peshawar and on pillion riding under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Peshawar Deputy Commissioner Zaheerul Islam said those violating the ban shall be proceeded against under Section 188 of the Pakistan Penal Code. The notification read the order shall remain enforced throughout 8th, 9th and 10th of Muharram.

When contacted, Home and Tribal Affairs Secretary Akhtar Ali Shah said they had held several meetings with religious scholars in sensitive districts including DI Khan, Kohat, Peshawar and Haripur, adding they extended their full support to maintain peace during the month.

“All of them (religious scholars) said they did not want to give an opportunity to hidden hands (third party) to further sabotage the current state of affairs,” said Shah, adding security has been further enhanced and the army and Frontier Corps will also help maintain law and order.

Shah said it is the responsibility of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to suspend cellular networks for which the provincial ministry has submitted a request to the federal interior ministry.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 14th,2013.


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