November 24, 2012 – Mobile Service suspended by 6 AM PST in 49 major cities of Pakistan. The decision to suspend mobile phone services in the country was taken during a high-level meeting chaired by Interior Minister Rehman Malik in Islamabad on Friday to review security measures adopted to provide peaceful atmosphere to the people during the Ashura.
Talking to media persons after the meeting at the Ministry of Interior, Malik feared more terrorist attacks during the Ashura.
Quoting intelligence reports, he said that terrorist outfits had planned to attack mourning processions during the Ashura in Karachi, Quetta and Islamabad.
He said that the phone service in some sensitive cities was partially and fully suspended on 8th of Muharram to avoid any untoward incidents during the mourning processions and Majalis on the requests of relevant provinces.
During the meeting, Malik highlighted the need for temporary suspension of mobile service to avert terrorist activities, interior ministry sources said.The meeting recollected that 820 incidents of terrorist attacks happened in Muharram-ul-Harram during 2011 and 2012 and motorcycles were used in all these attacks.
Requests from all the provinces for suspension of mobile services during the 9th and 10th of Muharram were also reviewed in the meeting.
Malik consulted the AJK prime minister, Punjab chief secretary, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial police officer and Sindh additional chief secretary (Home) on mobile service suspension.
On the basis of the feedback, the interior minister apprised the prime minister of written as well as telephonic requests of the provinces for the suspension of mobile services during the 9th and 10th Muharram, and got the premier’s nod to temporarily close the mobile phone services on security grounds, the meeting was told.
The meeting decided closing of mobile service from 1 pm to midnight in Quetta and Karachi on November 23 (8th of Muharram); closing of mobile services in G-9 Islamabad from 3pm to 6pm the same day and suspension of mobile phone services in G-6 sector from 3pm hrs to 8pm on November 24 (9th of Muharram).
The minister issued instructions to all the provinces regarding strict security measures during the Muharram processions for the protection of life and property of innocent people who are exposed to terrorist activities.
The meeting also decided to suspend mobile service in different sensitive cities including Lahore, Multan, Sargodha, Attock, Rawalpindi, Jhang, Rahim Yar Khan, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Quetta, Kallat, Khuzdar, Turbat, Gawadar, Panjgur, Mastung, Kohlu, Dera Bugti, Hub, Kohat, Ustarzai, Hangu, Bannu, Laki Marwat, DI Khan, Tank, Nowshehra, Haripur, Charssadda, Mardan, Kurram Agency (Parachanar), Miranshah, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s cities including Muzaffarabad, Kotli, Neelam Vally, Rawalakot, Mirpur and in Gilgit-Baltistan.