Court Petitions Against Frequent Shutdown of Mobile Phone Services

A mutual petition has been filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against recurrent suspension of mobile services in the federal capital.

Court Petitions Against Frequent Shutdown of Mobile Phone Services

The suitors with the help of their counsel, Umer Gilani have advised the court to state the suspension of mobile telecom services illicit as it had severely affected their lives, mentioning the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) moves during the last ten days of March.

The petitioners have made the PTA, Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications secretary, and chief executive officers of three main private telecom service providers as defendants.

The counsel alleged that Masooma Hassan, the foremost petitioner was a professional who traveled daily between Rawalpindi and Islamabad for work.

Gilani also said that Waqar Ahmad, another petitioner, is an itinerant worker, who is incapable to communicate with his wife and parents living in a hilly village in Kaghan Valley for months, if the phone service is suspended.

Muhammad Zohaib and Ahmed Raza, two other petitioners, have also pursued court’s intrusion into the problem.

The mobile phone services were suspended during the sit-ins, Muharram, Rabiul Awal, Mumtaz Qadri’s funeral and chehlum, and recently on Fridays during Lal Masjid cleric’s addresses. The inhabitants face great problems when the mobile phone services are suspended.

The petitioners criticized that not only did the mobile phone blackout badly affect their capability to contact their families, it also set the entire populace in a really risky situation.

“Had anyone faced medical or other emergencies during the time their phones were suspended, lives could have been lost.”

Said a petitioner.

The petitioners could not do anything to back the reliance of the society and its emergency facilities on mobile telecom services, said Gilani.

Though he was of the view that the government and law implementation agencies under its control could appropriately manage internal security matters such as marches through use of less invasive technologies such as jammers. Such technologies are already in use in the locations of the superior courts, Gilani informed.

The counsel also said that after the global information and communication technology upheaval, telecommunication must be acknowledged as an ultimate right.

In Pakistan almost 70 million people use mobile phones and more than 10 million depend on it for money transfer. When the government remits an illogical stoppage of such needed service, it badly affects the lives of many people, Gilani said, adding that was the reason the petitioners had confronted this policy to guard public interest.

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