Karachi, Quetta phone services suspended over Muharram terror fear
Interior Minister Rehman Malik yesterday ordered the shutting down of cellular networks and services in Karachi and Quetta, the provincial capital of the troubled Baluchistan province.
People in the two cities were without cellular services since 10 AM today until they were restored by late evening.
Malik, in wake of Muharram and looming terrorism threats, had also announced a ban on riding motorcycles in Karachi and Quetta but the Sindh High Court overturned the order late last night.
The SHC today summoned the chief secretary, home secretary and advocate general of Sindh province and ratified the decision to strike down the orders from the central government.
The government has now suspended cellular services for the fourth time this year. It had also suspended mobile services on Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha and Youm-e-Ishq-e-Rasool (PBUH).
Malik defended the decision to impose these bans citing credible information pertaining to terror threats. He told the media that the hard decisions were taken to prevent terror attacks at the start of Muharram.
Shia Muslims observe a period of mourning during the first ten days of the Islamic new year and take out processions to observe Ashura on the 10th of Muharram.
In 2010, around 45 people were killed during a bomb blast in a Ashura procession in Karachi.
Karachi and Quetta have in recent times been hit hard by sectarian violence
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