Pakistan’s Suspension of Mobile Services: Was it necessary?

On August 19, mobile phones services in various cities of Pakistan were suspended due to the potential threat of mobile-operated bombs planted in bazaars by terrorists. It was to avert this threat that the government said it had to suspend services in cities and areas on high alert.

On chaand raat, some were caught unaware and discovered themselves outside their homes and unable to get through to their families at home. The services of course were suspended first, and the confirmation by the government that they had been suspended followed after. Those who were still home when the suspension of services came into effect thought twice before stepping out.

The question is, was this the only way to counter the threat? Was there no other measure or way the government could have resorted to other than the suspension of services?

Bolo Bhi speaks to Jameel Yusuf, Founder Chief, Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CLPC), and Norbert Almeida, a Security Advisor and discusses whether the step by the Government of Pakistan to suspend mobile phone services the night before Eid was necessary, or were there alternate security measures that could have been adopted.

[videogallery id=”gal1″]


Moderator: Farieha Aziz

Farieha Aziz is a Karachi-based, APNS-awardwinning journalist. She has a masters in English literature from the University of Karachi. She worked with Newsline (July 2007-Jan 2012) and taught literature to grades 9-12 (Aug 2011-May 2012) at an IB school in Karachi.

Guests: Jameel Yusuf and Norbert Almeida

Jameel Yusuf is the Chairman of TPL Holdings (Pvt) Ltd and the Founder Chief of Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC), a Statutory Institution established by the Government of Sindh, after amending the Police Rules through an Act of Parliament in March 1990. He was awarded the prestigious Sitara-e-Shujaat award by the President of Pakistan for his acts of bravery in combatting terrorism and assisting victims of crime irrespective of their caste, creed, status or wealth. His honorary services for CPLC continued till March 2003 i.e for 14 years.

Norbert Almeida has worked for over a decade as a Security Advisor in Pakistan and the Middle East with international organisations. Norbert is committed to improving safety and disaster management and is a certified instructor who has conducted several workshops at the community level in the country.

About The Author

Farieha Aziz

Farieha Aziz is a Karachi-based, APNS-awardwinning journalist. She is a co-founder and Director at Bolo Bhi. She has a masters in English literature. She worked with Newsline from July 2007-January 2012 and taught literature to grades 9-12. She served as an amicus curiae in a case filed in the Lahore High Court in 2013, challenging the ban on YouTube, and is currently a petitioner on behalf of Bolo Bhi in a case filed in the Islamabad High Court challenging government's censorship on the Internet and the powers of the regulator. When she is not raging over Internet censorship or poor Internet connectivity, she chooses to turn to cricket, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and qawwalis for sanity. She can be found on Twitter: @FariehaAziz and reached via email:

Add a comment

*Please complete all fields correctly

Related Blogs

No Image