According to the Interior Minister, and very correctly too, mobile phones can also be used for exploding the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) as a remote control means. He had, therefore, ordered suspension of the mobile phone service in certain cities on Eid day.
Now exploding home made explosive devices remotely through the radio signals of a cell phone could be called Electronic Warfare (EW) and the switching off the mobile services to render it ineffective an Electronic Counter Measure (ECM). It is certainly a good ECM but the way it was planned and executed left much to be desired. Almost all TV channels were amateurishly running tickers giving minute to minute most important and to my mind secret information about this planned activity of the government. Crucial information like – No mobile service in Karachi Red Zone —- Mobile service suspended on roads leading to Presidency and Governor’s House —- Mobile phone Service wi ll remain off in Lahore from 9 p.m. tonight to 12 Noon tomorrow — Two mobile companies of Quetta to suspend their service, etc. was being offered on a platter to the terrorists as well who could always plan ECCM (Electronic Counter Counter Measures) and resort to something else, like Time Operated Device where the clock (now-a-days digital which does not even ‘click’ and produce the ticking sound) or use the FM Walkie Talkies which are abundantly available in the market, or even use the mechanism taken out of the remotely operated toy cars of the kids. Thank Allah (SWT) nothing of the kind happened, but that doesn’t mean that it would always work that way.
The government must not announce its intended plans to fight the menace by broadcasting it that openly that could give plenty of time to the terrorists to incorporate some second and even third option in executing their heinous operation.
COL. RIAZ JAFRI (RETD),
Rawalpindi, August 20.