24/03/2009 14:32 – (SA)
Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan – Militants on Tuesday warned the Pakistan government to stop expanding the cellphone network in a restive tribal area, worried it could be used to spy on their activities.
They circulated a pamphlet in Wana, the main town of South Waziristan on the Afghan border, telling authorities to stop the network expansion and ordering vendors to stop selling SIM cards, residents and officials said.
“A Jewish, Zionist-backed company is setting up the mobile phone network in Waziristan, which would be used to spy on Taliban activities and drone attacks,” said the pamphlet.
“This network is equipped with GPS (global positioning system) and can give the location of a person even if his mobile phone is switched off,” it said.
“In Iraq and Afghanistan such a system has been used to launch attacks against mujahedeen,” the leaflet said, referring to holy warriors.
“The government and those selling SIMs will be treated as criminals by us,” it warned.
A local administration official confirmed that a leaflet had been circulated in Wana.
Pakistan’s rugged tribal regions have been wracked by violence since hundreds of Taliban and al-Qaeda rebels fled across the border to escape the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001.