Karachi: Suspension of cellular phone services did not help the government to control protesters destroying public property though it irked customers for doing their routine works.
The government asked cellular operators to block their services in 15 cities as a security measure but its did not generate the accepted results.
This is not the first time communication has been blocked by means of a kill-switch. The Government has previously resorted to such tactics in Balochistan, Gilgit and other major cities in the country on important occasions such as Eid and Independence Day.
Bolo Bhi, a Non-Profit-Organization, raised the issue with security experts who clarified that kill-switch tactics not only compromise communication rights of citizen but also result in huge security risks themselves – GSM blocking bars tracker services and home security equipment, allowing a field day for criminals. This communication breakdown also takes a toll on health and emergency services.
There are other, more efficient methods to counter terrorism without compromising citizen’s basic rights to access and communication, it said. Such measures only create more problems for the citizens. The Government must ensure the right to life, dignity without taking away their basic rights that compromise their security as well as their peace of mind.
The government must clarify how such measures serve the purpose of security and it must come up with alternate plans to ensure safety of the citizens without compromising their rights.