Out with the cellphone, in with the ban(daids)

Published: November 16, 2012
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Cellphone services suspended, ban on motorbikes imposed in Quetta following Interior Minister Rehman Malik's orders. DESIGN: SIDRAH MOIZ KHAN

The cellphone service ban is a great idea. After just a few minutes of Googling I came across tons of articles about how cellphones are used by terrorists, not just for coordination but also as remote detonators. This is all clear evidence that cellphones are in fact the tools of terror. Google says so and Google knows all. After all there’s even a church of Google, for crying out loud.

After field testing the cellular service ban on Chaand Raat, the government was so impressed by its efficacy that it’s now been permanently inducted into the arsenal of counter-terrorism. Just like the ban on pillion riding. Of course, we know that the ban on double, triple or quadruple sawari is one of the leading reasons that Karachi has been transformed into a haven of peace and tranquility.

Yes, yes I can hear your whining already.

The ban on pillion riding has affected countless families, hampered productivity and become a source for under-the-table revenue for countless police officers. But is that really a bad thing?

Freedom from terror and, in the case of cellphones, freedom from telemarketing smses is worth sacrificing for. Also, don’t police officers deserve to supplement their meager pay a little bit?

Besides, as we all know, terrorists are an unimaginative bunch who absolutely don’t adapt their tactics and don’t stay several steps ahead of our law enforcement agencies which, as true traditionalists, still use Mughal-era modes of investigation. Banning cellphones and pillion riding has them scratching their silly little heads and quitting terrorism in droves.

So yes, banning cellphones is a great idea.

So is treating arterial wounds with bandaids. I mean think about the alternative: you’d actually have to stabilise the patient, get him an ambulance, then to the hospital while also getting rid of the sharp object that cut him in the first place.

That’s a lot of work. Better to stick to bandaids. Or bans, as the case may be.

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Zarrar Khuhro

Is currently working at Dawn TV and was the editor of The Express Tribune weekly magazine.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.