LAHORE / ISLAMABAD / KARACHI: Cellular services have been suspended in parts of Pakistan on Sunday owing to reports of attacks on Tahirul Qadri and the long march participants.
Services were suspended at 5pm and will remain off until further notice by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
Areas where services are made unavailable include Gulberg, Link Road, Model Town, Faisal Town, New Campus, Dharampura, Gari Shahu, Imamia Colony, Minar-e-Pakistan, Railway Road, Badami Bagh, Ravi Road, Shadra, Nau Lakha Chowk and Do Moria Pul as well as some areas of the district Sheikhupura. However, services were restored in some of the mentioned areas.
Apart from Lahore, mobile phone services will be suspended in Rawalpindi, Islamabad and its adjacent areas on Monday.
Officials associated with the Crisis Management Cell (CMC) told The Express Tribune that the services will remain suspended in twin cities from Monday afternoon onwards.
Cellphone services were suspended in Karachi’s Clifton and Defence area today reportedly because of a protest held outside Bilawal House against Shia killing.
Long march security threats
Intelligence reports have confirmed that several terrorist outfits have planned attacks on the January 14 long march of Minhajul Quran International (MQI).
According to a Special Branch (SB) report – a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune – confirmed that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is planning an attack on the rally.
The group is also planning the assassination of influential scholar Mufti Muneebur Rehman and Dawat-e-Islami chief Maulana Ilyas Qadri.
A report by the interior ministry’s National Crisis Management Cell supported the Special Branch report regarding possible TTP attacks on Qadri’s rally.
Another SB report suggested that the Saifullah Baqi-led Ghazi Fidai Force is planning suicide attacks on the march.
The National Crisis Management Cell of Interior Ministry and Special Branch recommended foolproof security and vigilance for Qadri’s caravan.
In the light of these intelligence reports, a circular was issued to the administration, police department, other Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), Corps Commander, Corps 4, Home Department, Joint Director Intelligence Bureau(IB), Sector Commander Military Intelligence (MI), Sector Commander Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Additional Inspector General of police Counter Terrorism Department (CTD).
The circular called for increased coordination between all the departments.
Ban on pillion riding
A ban on pillion riding has been imposed in Karachi effective immediately, Express News reported.
The interior ministry issued the ban, which will remain in effect until further notice.