Among other security measures, Chaudhry Nisar decided to take a page out of Rehman Malik’s book and blocked cellular services in various cities of the country. However, the government neglected to inform the public this time, and just as the services were banned according to a pre-decided schedule, restoring them will again be a decision taken and implemented without troubling to inform the public. Apart from being a nuisance, one cannot find many logical reasons to impose this measure.

The only reason that cannot be argued with is the hope that an inactive mobile phone service may prevent terrorists from using their cell phones to remotely activate bombs that have been planted in advance. That even one attack can be prevented, and even one life saved, or one person saved from an attack, is admirable. But countries with worse security problems than Pakistan have never taken the measure of banning mobile phone services, and beyond remote detonation, the reasoning behind this measure is unclear.

If mobile phone services are shut down to prevent communication, it would be an exercise in futility, given that landlines and various forms of calling services over the internet are readily available. One can only hope that this editorial does not give the government the idea to ban absolutely all wireless communication, including the internet, for that is certainly neither the intention, nor the suggestion. Surely there are other more efficient ways to counter the threat than dragging the country back into the dark ages.

In Peshawar, security forces found and successfully defused a 20 kg IED on Thursday, which is something that our security agencies should be commended for. However, one must wonder if blocking cell phone activity had any part to play in this success. Meanwhile, during the heightened security alert all over the country, doctors and nurses have been requested to keep their cell phones on at all times, and close to them. Ironic, and tragic at the same time, Pakistan’s struggle to do things rights, while getting them wrong, continues.