ISLAMABAD: Mobile phone services will remain partially suspended in some cities across Pakistan on Tuesday and Wednesday (9 and 10 Muharram) as part of security measures.
The interior ministry instructed cellular network companies to partially suspend mobile phone services in some cities, after administrations of all four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan, FATA and Islamabad earlier requested the federal government to suspend mobile phone services on Tuesday and Wednesday owing to the ongoing security situation, sources told Geo News.
Strict security measures have been taken throughout the country for Ashura to prevent any untoward incident.
The main 9th Muharram procession will be taken out from several cities including Quetta, Islamabad, Multan, Lahore, Peshawar and Karachi.
Karachi’s MA Jinnah Road sealed
In Karachi, MA Jinnah Road has been sealed with containers and other barriers and would remain unavailable for routine traffic on 9th and 10th Muharram.
According to city traffic police officials, MA Jinnah Road would be opened on the morning of 11th Muharram.
They further advised the citizens to use corridor-3 from Guru Mandir as the alternative route.
The government has already banned pillion riding in Karachi, Lahore, Quetta and Rawalpindi.
Security beefed up in Lahore
Speaking to Geo News DIG Operation Dr Haider Ashraf said every house on the procession routes had been searched to ensure fool proof security.
Over 2000 security personnel have been deployed in the city.
Nisar reviews law and order situation
On Monday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan chaired a high-level security meeting in Islamabad to review law and order situation and arrangements made for Muharram.
The Interior Minister also reviewed requests forwarded by the provinces for jamming of cellular phone service in different cities across Pakistan.
Observing that jamming of the cell phones causes inconvenience for the general public the Interior Minister decided that cellular services would only be suspended for a minimum time.
Reviewing security arrangements for the capital city during Muharram, the Interior Minister said that zero tolerance approach should be adopted for maintaining law and order in the capital city.
The Interior Minister directed Inspector General of Police to ensure foolproof security for Muharram processions mosques and Imambargahs and other religious places.
Appreciating the role of religious leaders of all sects in maintaining peace and promoting harmony in society, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan advised security officials and administration to remain in constant communication with the religious scholars for maintenance of peace.
He directed security officials to maintain better coordination between intelligence agencies and police for quick response to any untoward situation.
The Interior Minister pointed out that there should no slackness in the provision of foolproof security till the end of Muharram.