Cellular network jammers are being used by the government as a preventive security measure due to increasing incidents of terrorism across Pakistan.
These jammers are often used on occasions where large gatherings are supposed to convene. The official procedure for using jamming technology involves the Interior Ministry granting permission to the provincial home department to use jamming technology where necessary. The home department then makes the policy for when the jammers are to be used.
After this, it is the responsibility of the local administrators to collaborate with the police and decide where the jammers—which cut off any signals from mobiles and other networks in a circumference of 300 meters—are to be placed. The decision is taken on the basis of what place is the most strategically efficient.
Jammers are usually used on religious occasions such as Eid or Ashura, where they serve the purpose of blocking mobile phone signals so as to deter possible terrorist activity. Sources further informed that mobile networks in Pakistan are of two types: GSM or AIMS. The method for blocking these signals is to use jammers for these particular types of networks.
This could lead to terrorists possibly using networks outside of these two to continue their malicious activity. Other than this, the jammers are also used in the VVIP motorcades of high ranking government personnel, which include the president, prime minister, chief justice and chief ministers.
Currently, the Punjab police only possess around six vehicles for the security purposes of VVIP’s, none of which are equipped with the necessary jamming technology that is part of the official protocol. The Punjab police have said that the current security vehicles in their possession have become obsolete which were in urgent need of new vehicles with the necessary jamming technology to keep up with the times, and do their jobs to maximum efficiency.