On directions of Interior Ministry, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has just issued a directive to all cellular companies for closure of cellular and wireless services in as many as 49 cities across Pakistan, in addition to suspension of cellular services in whole of Baluchistan province.
Directive, a copy of which is available with ProPakistani, details that cellular and wireless services will remain suspended on 9th and 10th of Muharram, i.e. 24th and 25th of November 2012 from 6 AM to 12AM (mid-night).
Directive says that closure of services are aimed at helping the Law Enforcement Agencies to avoid any terrorism incident in Muharram.
Industry experts said that cellular services are likely to remain blocked for as much as 70 percent of GSM covered areas, since all the cities listed in the directive are highly populated urban areas where cellular usage is the most.
It maybe recalled that Sindh High Court is hearing a petition, filed by Telenor Pakistan, against this kind of suspension of cellular services.
List of Cities for Service Suspension
Here is the list of cities where cellular and wireless services will remain suspended:
- Rahim Yar Khan,
- Nankana Sahib,
- D.G. Khan,
- Saiwan Sharif,
- Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
- Kohat Region (Kohat City, Ustarzai area, Hangu),
- Bannu Region (Bannu, Lakki),
- D.I. Khan Region (D.I. Khan, Tank)
- Hazara Region (Mansehra, Haripur)
- Suspension of Mobile services in the whole province.
- Azad Jammu & Kashmir
- Rawalakot (Poonch),
- Kurram Agency (Parachinar),
- Miranshah (PTCL also should remain closed.)
- G-6 Sector
Time of Closure of Cellular Services:
- All Other Places Except Islamabad
- 9th Muharram (24 November, 2012) 0600 hours to midnight (0000 hours).
- 10th Muharram (25 November, 2012) 0600 hours to midnight (0000 hours)
- 1500 hours to 2000 hours on 24 November 2012 (9th Muharram)