'Barring cell services on festivals shows Pak govt's lack of strategy to combat terrorism'

Islamabad, Oct. 25 (ANI): An editorial in a Pakistani daily has said that the blocking of cellular services during festivals to deal with possible terror attempts shows the government's lack of strategy and inability to combat terrorism.

Pakistan has adopted strange means to deal with terrorist threats, which are centred more on the cosmetic, rather than the real. As Eidul Azha comes around, according to a report in this newspaper, the interior ministry is once again considering a shutdown of cellular services from Friday night till Saturday - the day on which Eid falls, stated the editorial in The Express Tribune.

It is virtually impossible to understand how this bizarre measure will curb militants, who can just as well plan attacks using means other than mobile phones. The whole scheme, also enacted a few months ago on Eidul Fitr, causes huge inconveniences to ordinary citizens as well as massive losses to cellular phone companies. The fact that Eid is an occasion when many people want to talk to family members and friends makes matters worse as a result of this measure, the editorial said.

What the cellular service suspension actually displays is that the authorities have no strategy or ability to combat terrorism. This is why they resort to the absurd, perhaps only to demonstrate that something is being done when, in fact, there is no well thought out plan, it said.

Such tactics are transparent and simply make the authorities look foolish, adding to their lack of popularity. In today's age, with dependence on these devices at an all-time high, people have reported being caught up in serious emergency situations without being able to seek help, it added.

The benefits of such measures, which affect millions of people, need to weigh in the costs of such actions. At present, Pakistan can see few benefits, if any, and if they do exist, they should be put forward more clearly. Otherwise the plan should simply be abandoned and replaced with better preventive measures, it concluded. (ANI)