Cable service suspended in Kohat: Taliban deadline
KOHAT, June 22: The cable operators suspended service throughout the district following threats from the Taliban.
Local cable operators said that all TV transmissions went off-air at 3PM on Sunday following a blast at a music centre in the busy Tirah bazaar in which shops were completely destroyed and two people were injured.
Earlier the Taliban had given a deadline for the cable operators to switch off telecasts by Sunday evening “or get ready to be made an example for violating the Sharia law”.
The All Cables Service Association, at an emergency meeting held here on Sunday afternoon, decided to suspend transmissions with immediate effect until “the government provides them security and starts peace negotiations with the Taliban”. However, the operators said that they wanted to sort out the matter by directly negotiating with the Taliban as under the prevailing situation in the NWFP, police security was not enough as the police were the main target of the militants.
President of the association said that the cable operators had been receiving threatening calls from a telephone number threatening them to suspend transmissions and wind up their businesses.
The office-bearers of the cable operators association said that the government had failed to provide them security and ensure transmission of TV programmes in Kohat and adjoining Darra Adamkhel region.
Cable operators said they were cautious although the police were claiming that the threat-calls were hoax but anything could happen in the persisting situation of the region. They said SHOs of city and Saddar police stations had told them to wait for ‘instructions’ and they would be informed about the decision of resuming transmissions after a meeting of the officials.
However, SSP Kohat Abdullah Khan told Dawn that he had directed the concerned police stations to provide security to cable operators in the district but the transmissions could not be resumed till filing of this report, and people remained under immense fear and seemed bored with life due to suspension of the cable service.
Meanwhile, the music centre blast victims, Ajmal and Taj Mohammad, were shifted to the KDA Divisional Medical Hospital for treatment. It was the second blast during the last twenty-four hours in Kohat in which 19 shops were destroyed.