Government pulls the plug on Internet and mobile phone services

Authorities in Pakistan have beefed up security arrangements for the chehlum or religious procession to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, given the history of sectarian violence on such occasions in the country, with hospitals placed on standby to deal with any untoward incidents. (AFP/File)
Updated 30 October 2018

Government pulls the plug on Internet and mobile phone services

  • Measures in place in major Pakistani cities to ensure security for religious procession
  • Interior Ministry orders suspension of network on request of all four provincial governments

ISLAMABAD: Internet and mobile phone services will remain suspended in major cities across Pakistan on Tuesday as part of security measures in place for the chehlum or religious procession to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain.
Authorities in Pakistan have beefed up security arrangements for the day, given the history of sectarian violence on such occasions in the country, with hospitals placed on standby to deal with any untoward incidents.
The Ministry of Interior said it had instructed the suspension of GPRS facilities and Internet and cellular phone services upon the requests of the four provincial governments and the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) administration. The services, however, will be operational as usual in Islamabad.
A number of cities from the Punjab province will be impacted by the suspension, including Lahore, Nankana, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Gujrat, Narowal, Rawalpindi, Attock, Jhelum, Sargodha, Khushab, Toba Tek Singh, Multan, Sahiwal, Okara, Pakpattan and Rahim Yar Khan.
Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan and parts of AJK including Bagh, Muzaffarabad, Mirpur, Haveli, and Kotli will also have the said services disconnected during the day, while in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Nowshera, Kohat, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Dera Ismail Khan and Abbottabad districts will be impacted.
Other cities to be affected include Hyderabad, Sukkur, Jaccobabad, Khairpur, Larkana, and Shikarpur in Sindh which will be devoid of these facilities, according to a notification by the provincial home department.


Nepalese climbers bag mountaineering’s last great prize: winter ascent of Pakistan’s K2

Updated 25 min 11 sec ago

Nepalese climbers bag mountaineering’s last great prize: winter ascent of Pakistan’s K2

  • One of the ten Nepalese mountaineers performed the feat without using an oxygen cylinder
  • K2 earned the nickname of ‘savage mountain’ since a large number of climbers lost their lives while trying to scale it

ISLAMABAD: A group of Nepalese climbers made history on Saturday by summiting the world’s second tallest mountain, K2, in winter, according to its team leader who made the announcement on Facebook only minutes after making the accomplishment. 

“The Karakorum’s ‘Savage Mountain’ has been summited in the most dangerous season: WINTER,” Chhang Dawa Sherpa exclaimed in his social media post.

His announcement was also confirmed by an official of the Alpine Club of Pakistan which deals with mountaineering expeditions in the country.

At 8,611 meters, K2 was the only peak among the 14 “8000ers” located in the Karakorum and Himalayan mountain ranges that remained unconquered during winter. 

Along the icy glaciers of the Karakoram, mountaineers and locals speak about K2 summits with a hushed reverence, and folklore in the area is rife with mythical stories of the mountain “permitting” climbers to reach its top — considered the ultimate honor granted to a mortal by nature. 

When a climb doesn't go as planned, locals tell each other the mountain refused to be scaled. 

“The Nepalese climbers finally reached the summit of Mt. K2 … this afternoon at 17:00 local time,” Dawa wrote. “This is the first winter ascent of the 2nd highest mountain in the world and the ONLY eight-thousander (8000er) to be climbed in winter. This is a greatest achievement in the history of mountaineering, this is a good example of team work … ‘If a mountain lets you climb it, no one can stop you.’” 

One of the ten Nepalese climbers, Mingma G, also became the first mountaineer to summit the peak in winter without an oxygen cylinder.

K2 earned the nickname of “savage mountain” since a large number of climbers — 86 in all — lost their lives while trying to scale it. 

In 2008, 11 climbers from an international expedition died in what was considered as the single worst accident in the history of mountaineering. 

K2 straddles the Pakistan-China border. While it is about two-and-a-half football fields shorter than Everest (8,848 meters), it is widely considered to be the toughest and most dangerous mountain to climb. 

More than 300 climbers have scaled K2 in spring and summer. Italians Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli were the first to reach its summit in the summer of 1954.