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Silent mobile phones stress Bajaur tribesmen

Silent mobile phones stress Bajaur tribesmen

KHAR: The cellular phone services have been suspended in Bajaur Agency for the last over three weeks stressing out the local residents.

The people complained to Dawn that they’re struggling to get in contact with relatives and friends living in different parts of the country and abroad due to the suspension of the mobile phone services, the only way of communication in the region.

The local administration had suspended the mobile phone services in Bajaur on March 15 for security reasons.

Zahid Khan of Khar town told Dawn that his younger brother was studying in Lahore so he and other family members were frustrated over inability to speak to him for three weeks.

The resident said he had lost contact with not only those living in other parts of the country but with relatives living inside in the agency as well.

Samiullah of Yousafabad area said he didn’t know the reason for the cellphone service suspension, which had paralysed public life in the region.

Hanif Khan of Sadiqabad said stressing out the people by suspending mobile phone service was unjust. He said the authorities should ensure the immediate end to the people’s misery. The people also complained the situation had halted the money transfer through mobile phone services.

Many people associated with mobile phone business said they had been out of work since the cellular phone services had been suspended in the region.

Israr Khan, owner of a mobile phone shop in Khar, said he had suffered huge losses. He said he had laid off four workers due the last three weeks though he didn’t want to do so.

A senior official of the local administration told Dawn that mobile phone service had been suspended as the mobile phone companies didn’t have no-objection certificate for operating in the region.

He said representatives of mobile phone companies had been told to produce NOC issued by the Fata Secretariat and other institutions for their towers installed across the agency but none of them had complied with the instructions.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2016

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