The cellular services remained operational across the country on 9th Muharram which was expected to be suspended due to security reasons.
The management earlier announced that cellular service in the cities across the country will remain suspended on 9th Moharram (Tuesday) but it was not suspended even in the routes of the procession.
After many years the cellular services were not even shut down in Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and other parts of the country. The district management following the revised security plan of the interior ministry decided not to close the services. According to officials the cellular services are likely to remain partly suspended on the 10th of Muharram in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala, Quetta, Peshawar, Sialkot, Mianwali, Sargodha, Sukkur, Bahawalpur, Jhang, Gujrat and others.
When contacted a spokesman of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said that the authority didn’t issue any instruction for the suspension of cellular services as per directions of the Interior Ministry. He added that a segment of media carried unverified news items which created hurdles for the masses. “If Interior Ministry asks for the suspension of cellular services the PTA will comply with the directions and if not mobile services will remain operational on the 10th Muharram”, the spokesman said.
In Islamabad cellular services remained on even in the main procession routes which started from the Markazi Imambargah G-6/2 and passed through Luqman Hakeem Road, G-6 Service Road, Saddar Road, Streets 33 and 40 in G-6/1, Municipal Road, Melody Chowk, Shuhada Chowk, Aabpara Police Station, Polyclinic, before circling back to Luqman Hakeem Road and finally culminated at the Imambargah at around 6:30pm in the evening.
In this regard, traffic police closed for traffic 7th Avenue from F-6 to Aabpara, and Fazle Haq and Luqman Hakeem Road from China Chowk to Kulsum Plaza from 8am to 8pm. Similarly, Melody Chowk also remained closed. Parking along the procession routes also remained prohibited.
According to officials of the Metro Bus Service plying between Rawalpindi and Islamabad the management has decided to suspend the service on the 10th of Muharram due to security reasons. According to metro officials some 80,000 people from Islamabad will join 10th Muharram’s procession in Rawalpindi and closure of metro will create serious problems for the mourners.