ISLAMABAD - In the presence of speculations whether mobile phone service would remain dysfunctional or not for May 11 polling day as a security measure to thwart terrorist activities, Interior Ministry has decided to suspend the cellular service in any part of the country only on the recommendation of the provincial government.

“As law and order is the prime responsibility of the provinces, we have written to the all the four provincial governments to pinpoint all sensitive areas, locations or cities where mobile service needs to be suspended as a security measure,” a senior official of the National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC) of the Ministry of Interior informed on the condition of anonymity on Friday afternoon. The Ministry has also established a National Election Security Cell at the NCMC to monitor the security during the elections through election day.

The official said as soon as the provincial governments would provide them the lists containing details of the cities or areas; these would be forwarded to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) for immediate action to suspend mobile phone service. Till yet, the provinces have not shared with us such kind of information, he added. However, he hoped that provinces would provide such information till Friday night.

On the other hand, an official of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said Interior Ministry had the all powers and authority to pinpoint sensitive areas for the suspension of mobile phone service as a security measure.

“The Ministry will share the details with the ECP where the mobile phone service is being made dysfunctional,’ he added.

Another official of the NCMC hoped that polling would be held in a peaceful atmosphere and said the Ministry till yet had not received any intelligence report indicating any specific terrorist threat on the polling day.

“We have no intelligence report about any major terrorist activity in any specific area or about specific attack on any main political leader,” he said, adding the Ministry had received some general kind of security threats.