Pakistan shuts Internet services ahead of Muharram
Such instructions have been issued in the past in the country ahead of Muharram
Although Pakistan has been attacking India for communication lockdown in Kashmir, the country has not hesitated to shut down Internet services in various parts of the country, including Islamabad, Karachi, Rawalpindi and Peshawar ahead of Muharram on Tuesday.
As the Shias will observe their most important ritual, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Sunday was quoted by local daily Dawn news that mobile phone services would remain suspended on the Monday and Tuesday, besides heightening security in specific areas of all cities across the country.
While the PTA did not confirm exact timings, the cellular services -- particularly in areas through which Muharram procession will pass -- are reportedly expected to remain suspended from morning till 6 p.m. on September 10 and 11.
A senior official in the Ministry of Interior had informed that a notification was issued by the government of the cellular services being suspended in areas identified and indicated by the district administrations across Pakistan for the safety of mourners during the procession.
The directions to suspend both mobile and broadband services are reportedly passed down from the Ministry of Interior to the telecom regulating authority that ensured its implementation by passing the orders to all the operators.
According to a PTA official, such instructions have always been issued in the past to suspend mobile phone services at the last minute to ensure maximum security.
Tight security arrangements are made especially in Islamabad, Karachi, Rawalpindi and Peshawar, where thousands of personnel are said to have been deployed on the routes of the Muharram procession.
With inputs from IANS
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