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Pakistan To Cut Phone Services To Prevent Muharram Attacks 119

SternisheFan writes with this news from the Indian Express: "Pakistan's interior minister Friday said the government will suspend cell phone services in most parts of the country over the next two days to prevent attacks against Shia Muslims during a key religious commemoration. Militants often detonate bombs using cell phones and this is the first time the government has implemented such a wide-scale suspension. Saturday and Sunday are the most important days of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, especially important to Shias. Pakistani Shias Sunday observe Ashoura, commemorating the 7th century death of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson. Different parts of the Muslim world mark Ashoura on different days —neighbouring Afghanistan, for example, observes it on Saturday. 'The suspension of cell phone services will begin at 6 am Saturday and run through the next day,' Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad. He said 90 per cent of the bombs set off by militants in Pakistan have been detonated using cell phones. Some criticized the government for suspending services, saying it was a huge inconvenience."
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Pakistan To Cut Phone Services To Prevent Muharram Attacks

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  • Idiots (Score:3, Insightful)

    by some old guy ( 674482 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @03:54PM (#42076131)

    the whole bloody lot.

    • by mrops ( 927562 )

      On what basis...

      you sound like some "grumpy" old guy

    • Are you perhaps implying that getting blown up is somehow equally inconvenient? Don't be silly!
    • I'll second that. All it takes is for the bad guys to use the alarm function and then they still get the bomb to go off and the victims can't even call for help. What a stupid idea.

  • than being a religious minority in Pakistan

    Shia, Sikh, Hindu, or Christian

    the West should just allow all religious minorities free passage out of Pakistan

    they're being hunted

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They don't want to leave, it's their home.

      • and they've done a lot for pakistan: []

        The largest religious minority in Pakistan after Muslims, is that of the of Christians. This includes Anglicans, Protestants, Catholics, Armenian Orthodox, Assyrian/Chaldean, smaller numbers of Nestorians and more recent Evangelical sects. They are represented in many fields of Pakistani society and have to some degree, achieved higher positions in the government, bureaucracy and businesses. The Pakistani government has reserved quotas in educational institutes and reserved seats in government to ensure appropriate representation of the Christian community. Famous Pakistani Air Force pilot Cecil Chaudhry is a Pakistani Christian and was credited with numerous kills receiving the PAF awards for gallantry and bravery.

        but then

        Due to forced conversions, extortion and kidnapping of girls Hindus are fleeing to India. The kidnapping and rape of a teenage Hindu girl, Manisha Kumari, on August 7, 2012 is said to have caused widespread concern among the community. On 10 August 2012 around 250 Hindus refugees from Pakistan crossed over to India.[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

        the honorable thing to do is stay and fight for your country. which is why i hate on liberal americans who whine about fleeing to canada should republicans win

        but staying and fighting assumes an honorable opponent, and a numerical balance

        when you are vastly outnumbered, and the enemy has no problem committing vile acts that go unpunished, it is time to run, and live to fight another day, as an expat

        • How about conservative Americans who want to secede?

          • i think that is a hilarious revelation in the dichotomy between left wing douchebags and right wing douchebags

            1. a right wing douchebag will claim provenance over the land, even when everyone has moved past their antiquated values that, in reality, never really existed except in myth. therefore, they think secession actually has a chance, because it nicely dovetails with their bullshit belief they are somehow more authentically american. they honestly believe, if they are in a room of 100 americans, and 99

            • Don't stop before you get to the "moderate" wing douchebags. They'll listen to the arguments of the other douchebags and say, "you guys are douchebags. Let's do half of what each of you want." Because obviously averaging two bad ideas is just like having a good idea, right?

            • by Krojack ( 575051 )

              Wish I had mod point to give you solely for fact you haven't been brainwashed by either side and will openly acknowledge they are both idiots.

          • they are butthurt morons.

            What i don't get though that you can't talk even hypothetically about secession in the US. Ron Paul recently said that the secession, no matter how improbable, should always be on the table, so the federal government doesn't get too comfortable with pushing plebes around. He was shat all over by everyone, including all those tolerant, peace loving progressives. Are they against self-determination and freedom of association only because 200 years ago people's ancestors joined some un

            • by Fjandr ( 66656 )

              Lots of people are for political self-determination until it lessens their own political power.

            • Ron Paul is an idiot. The US already had this debate, and the answer was no [].

              • No, we didn't have a debate. We had a war, and if I recall correctly, it was a war started by the states wishing to secede. So the answer to that method of secession was "no", but that does not rule out civilized secession, does it?
    • by icebike ( 68054 ) *

      Don't worry, the phones will all be up and running on Christmas eve.

      • Don't worry, all the phones will be ringing.

        Signed, Jobe.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Not even that. Most phones have a schedule alarm function. Shouldn't take much more than five minutes poking around the settings menu. Sure they might not be able to ring or text it to set it off, but if they have an idea of the date and time where a target is most likely to show up it doesn't take a genius to figure out the rest. If they're already familiar with a certain model phone for triggering bombs, disabling the actual phone function isn't going to throw them off by that much.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by couchslug ( 175151 )

      No. ALL Superstition is bad. ALL Superstition is enemy to the search for truth because it promotes dogma instead.

      We shoud DESPISE primitive beliefs and seek to keep their adherents away. We have enough Superstitionist nutters in the West already.

      If any can PROVE their Sky Fairie exists, I shall recant and kiss his/her/it's Noodly Appendage. They've had THOUSANDS of years to prove they aren't promoting lies designed to enslave men to other men.

      • Intolerance is intolerance, no matter what you believe or don't believe. An asshole is an asshole, no matter what he believes. Consider circletimessquare's post to be ditto'd here.

    • by Nyder ( 754090 )

      than being a religious minority in Pakistan

      Shia, Sikh, Hindu, or Christian

      the West should just allow all religious minorities free passage out of Pakistan

      they're being hunted

      yes, I'm sure Israel would be glad to take them all in.

    • Yes there is, try being a religious minority in Saudi Arabia(frankly, all non-wahabi), in Burma(muslims), In Srilanka(hindus)...

      My country is a miserable, miserable place, but trust me, I have seen worse.

    • by kokoko1 ( 833247 )
      Its not just the minorities being hunt, these days the whole Pakistani nation is being hunted.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 23, 2012 @03:58PM (#42076163)

    ...people kill people.

    • by JustOK ( 667959 )

      the roaming charges can be killer

  • by Anonymous Coward

    why disable everything and not just jam signals around the area ? i've been to a couple of events here in Canada where they have Cellphone Jammers and they work really well !! nothing like getting zero cell-phone coverage on parliament hill !

    • by icebike ( 68054 ) *

      You don't have to go far to find such technology in use. One of the black vans that accompanies the president is supposedly a continuously operating cell jammer.

      But the difference here is that it is done for religious purposes, to protect one of the most violent religions in the world today. And since the bombings would target markets and parades and Mosques, the number of areas needing protection pretty much constitutes the entire country.

      Will phone service be up and running all through Christmas and East

    • I've been to a couple of events here in Canada where they have cellphone jammers and they work really well!

      Nope, that's just the regular coverage of our crappy carriers.

  • Will they then also ban all devices capable of being involved in triggering a bomb: clocks, watches, matches, and egg timers? Are they also banning the use of vehicles to inhibit mobility in planting these bombs? Will they be requiring people to report to the local police station to have their hands tied behind their backs to prevent them from making said bombs? Just wondering....
  • by Brandano ( 1192819 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @04:04PM (#42076203)
    If they use a different system to detonate a bomb (and now they know the cellphones won't work, so it becomes more likely) then it will delay any call for help from the area. Can't they just set up the towers so that a new, unknown, or unregistered foreign number can only make and not receive calls? Then it's a matter of asking people crossing the border to register their number if they want to receive calls, and that makes them more traceable. In any case nothing beats good detective work, most of these "security" measures seem to be just for show, and easily defeated. Why people always seems to think that the bad guys must be stupid? Too many action movies?
  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @04:23PM (#42076361) Homepage

    In addition to turning off towers, they will need to set up phone jammers everywhere. If not, all the bad guys need to do is set up one of those portable mobile phone hacking things to enable calling the remote device from a reasonable distance. I know it seems like a lot of work, but you know? If someone is going to go through the trouble of making a bomb detinator using a phone, then it's not a stretch to imagine taking that extra step to ensure that it works.

    Other thoughts? If your religion preaches intolerance, it is already a failure. (Yeah, I get it, the number of devout followers of these intolerant and violent religions would offer evidence to the contrary, but I mean failure in another sense.)

    Also, Islam would do well to learn lessons from Christianity. Look at how adaptable Christianity has been! It adopts all sorts of holidays and celebrations so that people think it's religious (like Christmas and Easter) and allows participation with pagan holidays like Halloween without fear of corrupting people because it's all in fun, not to be taken seriously. Also, in the 60s, they avoided a serious departure from Christianity in the US by changing God's personality from fire, brimstone and harsh punishment to a gentle god of love, forgiveness and tolerance. And it worked! The face of Christianity in the US today is completely different from the pre-60's version. Islam is like it is stuck 1000 years in the past.

    • > Islam is like it is stuck 1000 years in the past.

      Or rather, they are 600 years behind. Wikipedia mentions [] the first Muslim traditions dating from around 630 AD.

      As you said yourself, only some 50 years ago, Christianity in the US had a bit of an ugly face to it. Give Muslims a couple of hundred years, and they'll sort it out as well.
    • Also, in the 60s, they avoided a serious departure from Christianity in the US by changing God's personality from fire, brimstone and harsh punishment to a gentle god of love, forgiveness and tolerance. And it worked!

      You mean the Christian god who says that killing dark skinned people is great if you think they might be a threat, that carrying a gun is great in case you have to kill someone who might try to "steal your property," that killing doctors is fine if they are "killing innocent fetuses," and that gays are such an abomination that he sent his holy plague of AIDS to kill them? When you look at it, are the Muslim extremists any worse than the Christian ones? Agreed there are issues in the Islamic world that nee

      • I get what you mean, but I guess I should have added there was a hint of joke in what I was asserting about Christianity. (What I was saying is that Christianity is so adapted and modified, that it's DEFINITELY not what the original god and/or leadership intended... it just does what it has to to keep its customers happy.)

    • Or they can use the wi-fi functionality. Pre-planting a few wi-fi devices would not be difficult in a dense urban area. I'm afraid this is also aimed at blocking cellphone _cameras_, and recording of political speeches and security force behavior.

      • That's a very interesting point. So you say they are interested in blocking the truth of any given situation. Seems likely given that this is the case all over the world and especially in the feedom loving US of A. (You can't record cops on video... not even when the courts expressly say you can!)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    do this? - They won't be able to track anyone.

    • Sure they can. Just listen to the devices looking for towers but don't transmit back. In fact, it would work even BETTER like that because mobile phones transmit with more power when they have trouble receiving.

  • by Crypto Gnome ( 651401 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @05:50PM (#42076967) Homepage Journal
    Only OUTLAWS will have CELLPHONES.
  • I tweeted this yesterday. If they really want to cut off wireless communication by all means, the government of Pakistan should seriously be thinking of jamming WiMax signals as well in its biggest city - Karachi. There are 4 Wimax telcos providing coverage in Karachi. Using Mi-Fi (Pocket rechargable wimax modem + Wi-Fi) coupled with Viber/Tango/WhatsApp could be easily used for the same purpose which they are trying to avoid. /dm

We gave you an atomic bomb, what do you want, mermaids? -- I. I. Rabi to the Atomic Energy Commission