Mobile phone services were totally shut down in Pakistan’s biggest city today as a security measure for Muharram processions taken out by Shia Muslims. Sindh Home Minister Anwar Siyal said mobile phone services would be shut down totally in Karachi and some parts of the province today and tomorrow from morning to night on the recommendation of paramilitary rangers and police. “We know it will cause inconvenience to the people but the step has been taken to ensure there is no untoward incident during the ninth and tenth day of Muharram and processions,” he said.
Internet services were also partially operational in Karachi and other parts of Sindh. Overall, the central government has decided to suspend mobile services in many parts of the country on the ninth and tenth day of Muharram. “But in other parts, while the suspension of services is partial, in designated areas in Karachi it is a total shutdown,” a telecom operator said. A senior police official said Karachi remains the most sensitive part of Pakistan as far as terrorist attacks on Muharram processions are concerned. “We have acted on credible intelligence reports and especially after six terrorists were killed earlier this week who were planning attacks on Muharram processions,” he said.