Telecom services are shutting down their services in the last two nights in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif apparently due to “security threats”, residents and local officials said.
The telecom companies have not commented on this decision but sources said that the telecom companies shut down their activities due to security threats.
Balkh Police Chief Gen. Munir Ahmad Fayiz said the offices of the four major telecom companies – Afghan Wireless, Roshan, Etisalat, and MTN – were closed for 24 hours for disconnecting their services in the last two nights.
He said telecom companies have not shared the problem with the police.
“There is no major security threat to them [telecom companies in Mazar],” the Police chief said. “We have not been informed about any threats to them. We sealed their offices according to the warning we had given to them.”
The shutdown in services has increased the price of the SIM card of government-owned Salaam Company to Afs1,200, almost $15 – in the black market.
“We will introduce them to judicial institutions if they sold the SIM cards more than its normal price,” said Mohammad Taqi Poya, the head of Directorate of Telecommunication and Information Technology in Balkh.
Balkh residents said the issue is concerning and it must be solved.
“SIM cards are not available; they are found in the black market,” said Khwaja Sharif, a Balkh resident.
“People are facing problems and all communications were disconnected,” said Qadir, a Balkh resident.
Head of Balkh Provincial Council, Afzal Hadid, said efforts are underway to solve the problem.
“What is the solution? Those who want to create a problem for our people must be stopped. We are trying to find alternatives and I am sure that this problem will be solved in the near future,” he said.