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Mobile phone services suspended for Lal Masjid area on Friday

28 November, 2015

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ISLAMABAD: Mobile phone services remained suspended in sectors G-6 and G-7 for some time on Friday noon. This coincided with the deadline given by the cleric of Lal Masjid to implement his version of Sharia in the country.

Two weeks ago, Maulana Abdul Aziz had warned the authorities to implement his 10-point Sharia programme by November 27. The demand was reiterated by the cleric in his telephonic address on Friday last.

There was no mobile phone service in the two sectors from 12 noon to 1:30pm during which Friday prayers are held in Lal Masjid.

Maulana Aziz is currently living in Jamia Sumaya in G-7 while Lal Masjid is located in Sector G-6. Last week, Maulana Aziz also delivered the Friday sermon via telephone.

However, mobile network firms denied they were asked by any authority to suspend the service. “Except for queries by the media and some people, we are not even aware of service suspensions,” said an official of one such firm. However, he added that if there was any localised blockade, the ICT administration might have placed ‘jammers’.

“Jamming equipment are not something unique or rare for the authorities. They even have it in vehicles and some banks too have jamming devices,” he added. The ICT administration, including DC Office, declined to comment.

Meanwhile, Hafiz Ehtesham Ahmed of Lal Masjid Shuhada Foundation criticised the authorities for what he said robbing Maulana Aziz of his basic rights. Mr Ahmed issues statements on behalf of the cleric. “Mobile services were blocked to deprive the followers of Abdul Aziz at Lal Masjid to listen to his sermon,” he added.

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