KARACHI/LAHORE/ PESHAWAR: After the three-day ban on pillion riding in Karachi and Sukkur, mobile phone services will also be suspended in Karachi on Youm-e-Ali (RA), on Sunday, in a bid to thwart terrorist attacks.
Intelligence agencies have warned that Naeem Bukhari, the chief of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, has reached Karachi and is planning a major attack to sabotage Youm-e-Ali (RA) observance via improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and suicide bombings.
Therefore, the Sindh government decided on Friday to suspend mobile phone services on that day from 4 am till 11 pm, according to the Sindh home department. Besides these measures, some 16,000 law enforcers will guard the main procession and its movement will also be monitored via closed circuit cameras.
Meanwhile, in Lahore, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif issued instructions for making foolproof security arrangements on Youm-e-Ali (RA). Presiding over a meeting on law and order, Shahbaz ordered the close monitoring of processions and said that a security plan had been developed for the day. He also directed for strict checking of the entry and exit points of Punjab using digital technology.
Section 144 was also imposed in Peshawar by Deputy Commissioner Zahirul Islam who also announced a ban on pillion riding. All routes leading to prominent imambargahs in the city were sealed to control traffic and security will be beefed up along the procession routes.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2014.