Taliban ban MTN, Etisalat services in Ghazni
GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): Taliban militants have censored MTN and Etisalat telephone services from the past one month in southern Ghazni province, local residents complain.
Rahmatullah Marjankhel, an inhabitant of the province, told Pajhwok Afghan News MTN and Etisalat mobile operators had not been working in Ghazni the past one month.
A reporter by profession, he said: “There is only one slow-paced Internet café in Ghazni City. My employer wants news from me but I don’t have fast Internet to upload videos.”
He added Roshan, AWCC and Salaam telecom companies were also active in Ghazni, but people were not satisfied with their services.
Mohammad Hashim, a SIM card seller based in Ghazni City, said his business had weakened after the two companies stopped their services.
“The two firms stopped working about a month ago. People no longer purchase their SIM cards and telephone sets. It has slowed down our business,” he remarked.
But Inamullah, a resident of the Sher Kala village of Andar district, said MTN and Etisalat networks were still working for some hours in daytime.
“I don’t think the Taliban are behind the problem. Apparently, the issue lies with the companies themselves,” he believed, asking the authorities to fix the fault.
In Kabul, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) said the militants had forced telecom firms in Ghazni and other provinces to stop operations.
MCIT spokesman Yasin Samim blasted the Taliban for torching telephone towers in some areas. “Security threats would not last long; we have talked to officials of telecom companies and the problem would be resolved soon.”
Meanwhile, the Taliban confirmed banning the two companies from operating in Ghazni areas under their control.
The group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid said both MTN and Etisalat had violated Taliban’s directions. Therefore, the fighters had stopped their operations.
“Whenever a clash erupts, we order telecom companies to suspend their services for a short time. But the two companies violated the orders,” he concluded.
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