ISLAMABAD: Mobile phone service remained suspended in 58 cities of Pakistan for ten hours on Friday as a security measure to cut off communications among terrorists in order to stop them from attacking the processions of Eid Milad-un-Nabi (birthday of the Prophet Muhammed Peace Be Upon Him).
Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore Quetta, Peshawar, Karachi, Hyderabad, Khairpur, Mirpirkhas, Sukkur, Larkana, Nosheroferoz, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Multan Dera Ghazi Khan, Rahim Yar Khan, Bhakkar, Darya Khan, Dera Ismail Khan, Tank, Bannu, Sahiwal, Chichawatni and many other cities faced suspension of cellular phone service.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Thursday that request for suspension of mobile phone services had been received from three provinces.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) announced the suspension of mobile services from 10am to 8pm. Unlike in the past, this time small towns were also included in the list of places where communication was down.
The PTA acted on the direction of the interior ministry, which said that it has received reports that terrorists have planned to attack the religious processions. It said that the measured helped a lot in severing links among the terrorists.
Friday dawned with 21-gun salute to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammed (Peace be Upon Him) in Lahore and Peshawar.
Army soldiers were seen firing cannons and chanting Allah-o-Akbar (God is great) at Lahore’s Fortress Stadium. The same scenes were witnessed at Peshawar’s Jinnah Park as faithful woke up to mark the birthday of Prophet (PBUH) after morning prayers.
As usual, the government announced a public holiday on account of the Eid Milad-un-Nabi.
Processions would be taken out in almost all the cities of Pakistan whereas to pay homage to the Last Prophet (PBUH).
The occasion was observed with religious reverence and fervour, renewing the pledge to follow the true teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
The day began with special prayers for development, safety, peace, unity and brotherhood amongst the followers of Holy Prophet.
Special security arrangements were made to maintain law and order on the occasion.
Newspapers and magazines published special supplements while television channels and radio stations arranged special programmes.
All major government and private buildings, residential plazas, markets, mosques, roundabouts were tastefully decorated.
At least six people including three policemen were killed and seven others injured after twin bomb blasts hit Pakistan’s Karachi on Thursday evening, Xinhua reported.
According to police officials, the first blast took place at a garbage dump in Karachi’s Sherpao Colony. Though no one was injured, the big bang spread panic in the area.
The second blast occurred just as police and rescue teams reached the blast site.