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The Killid Group

Signal's back

Written by Muhammad Yasin Yasin
Sunday, 18 September 2011 11:23

Signal's back Mobile phones are working again in Paktika.
Two months ago mobile phone operators cut their own antennas following threats from the Taleban.
The Taleban suspected local people of using mobile phones to inform security agencies of their whereabouts.
The long disruption in telecommunications has been bad for business and families.
Sado Khan, a money exchanger, says business has shrunk by 70 percent. "We could not contact our partners in Kabul, Kandahar, Jalalabad or other cities in order to send or get money orders." 
Muhammad Nazir, a shopkeeper who lives in Neki district and owns a shop in Sharana, was relieved the phones were working again.
"We had a lot of problems in purchasing stocks for our shop," he says. When the phone wasn't working "we had to shut our shop for three days and go ourselves to buy goods." Now he places orders for goods on the phone, he explains.
Muhammad Naeem, who owns a cloth shop in Sharana, says for two months they had no way of knowing what the prices in Kabul were every day.
"With phones working we can place orders easily or ask prices in other markets to be able to sell our goods at competitive rates," he says.
Shujadin and Abdul Shukoor are residents of Rostaq district in Balkh province. They work as drivers in Paktika. For two months they had no news from their families in Balkh. The cell phone is their only means of keeping in touch.
"We were worried about our family members. We had no idea what was happening to them," says Abdul Shukoor. "Any disruption in the network coverage makes us very anxious," he adds.
Yar Gul, in charge of security at the Roshan Telecommunication Company, confirms that cell phone companies sabotaged their own antennas on the towers because of threats from the Taleban.
The affected providers have been able to restore only partial coverage.
The Afghan Wireless Communication Company has resumed 24-hour service in Sharana, Khairkot, Orgun and Barmal districts. Roshan, MTN and Etisalat are back in Sharana only from 8 am to 4 pm.
Yar Gul blames the continuing war between Afghan security forces and the Taleban for the breakdown in essential phone services for people.

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