Islamabad: Pakistani authorities on Friday suspended mobile phone services in nearly 60 towns and cities across the country as part of security measures aimed at preventing terror attacks during Eid-e-Miladun Nabi. Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, Karachi, Hyderabad, Peshawar and Quetta were among the 59 towns and cities where the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority suspended mobile phone services during the day.
The suspension did not affect Islamabad, official said. Authorities imposed a ban on the use of motorcycles at several places while pillion riding on two-wheelers was banned at other places, officials said. This was done as terrorists have used motorcycles for attacks, they said.
Thousands of policemen and paramilitary personnel were mobilised across Pakistan as security measures for Eid-e-Miladun Nabi, which marks the birth anniversary of the Prophet Mohammed. At several places, authorities imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code to prevent large gatherings.
The entry of heavy vehicles along the routes of religious processions too was banned. The Interior Ministry has been suspending mobile phone services in key towns and cities since last year to prevent terror attacks. Interior Minister Rehman Malik has justified the measure by saying that mobile phones have been used for communications by terrorists and to trigger improvised explosive devices.