LAHORE: Cellular and data services were blocked in some parts of the country, including Karachi, Lahore, Quetta and Multan, Express News reported on Sunday.
A letter issued to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority by the Ministry of Interior, directed cellular service providers to block services from 12:00 am tonight to Monday 11:00am.
However, speaking to the media Sunday night, Ministry of Interior Rehman Malik said that cellular services will be blocked till Monday 10:00 am, adding that this step had been taken to prevent terrorist attacks.
He added that terrorists usually used mobile phones to detonate explosive devices.
Malik clarified that cellular services had been resumed in Islamabad since he had ensured tight security in the capital, but would block services there too if there were reports of threats in the city.
According to reports on social media, Mobilink, Warid, Telenor, Ufone and Zong have blocked services.
Earlier, in an attempt to ensure security during the celebrations of Eidul Fitr, cellular service providers in Pakistan had been told by the Ministry of Interior that they may be asked to immediately stop services in certain areas of the country between August 19 to August 20.
According to a letter issued by the ministry’s National Crisis Management Cell to the CEOs of the companies, the authority aimed to cut off communication capabilities of miscreants and terrorists to foil their plans.
The companies have been alerted beforehand so that action can be taken promptly, the letter stated.
Earlier, the Government of Balochistan had blocked cell phone services in Quetta and its surrounding areas on Independence Day in light of the security situation in the province.
The US embassy in Islamabad had also issued a notice to its citizens in the country to be careful during Eidul Fitr as it senses potential attacks from militant and sectarian groups present in the country.