Looted cell phones

Some years ago, the police attempted to arrest certain shopkeepers in Abdullah Haroon 
Road's Electronic Market for buying and selling stolen mobile phones. The outraged shopkeepers, who had always believed that it is perfectly legal to buy and sell stolen goods, went on the rampage and burned two government vehicles. After that, the police has wisely refrained from visiting that market again. The only way to block the sale of looted cell phones is to inform PTA the IMEI number of the phones, which the PTA can use for making the phones unusable. Unfortunately, it is necessary to go to the police and get an FIR, which no sensible Pakistani wants to do, for obvious reasons.

Printed in DAWN, April 14, 2013