Thursday, March 5, 2009

Call identification courses to be introduced in Pakistan

Pakistan CallingLahore. The terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team has exposed various vulnerabilities of the Pakistani establishment and police. One of the critical and dangerous shortcomings identified among the Pakistani establishment has been an inability to detect hoax calls. It’s believed that right from the President Asif Ali Zardari to a city policeman of Lahore is suffering from this shortcoming.

It should be recalled that Pakistani President Zardari had allegedly received a threatening phone call after Mumbai terror attacks. The hoax caller had identified himself as India’s foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee. Pakistan was put on a high alert following the hoax call and people all over the world feared that India and Pakistan could enter into a nuclear war. Fortunately nothing untoward happened.

But things turned out to be rather unfortunate this Tuesday when a hoax call led the Lahore police to change the route of the bus ferrying the cricket team of Sri Lanka. Police didn’t ascertain the veracity or the identity of the caller and changed the route, which caused the bus to be ambushed by terrorists, leading to death of security persons and injuries to Sri Lankan cricketers.

Now Pakistani authorities have realized that the inability to analyze anonymous and hoax calls have started to prove fatal to them, and hence they have decided to make each person of Pakistani establishment to go through a course on telephone call identification. A team of trainers from USA, hailing from AT&T Bell Laboratories, are expected to reach Pakistan later this month to start the training and development modules.


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