ISLAMABAD - The big cities of the country are going to face suspension of mobile phone services on the eve of Eid Milad un Nabi falling today to avoid any terrorist activity on the occasion.
The decision has been taken to make it hard for the criminal elements to gather at some place and contact each other. Moreover, the decision has been made keeping in view the recent past incidents wherein terror elements had used mobile phones to detonate explosive materials and killed dozens of the innocent people during certain occasions.
In this connection, the interior ministry has blocked cellular services in all big cities including Karachi, Quetta and Rawalpindi.
Earlier, the government had blocked cellular services on the eve of Ashura in 56 cities and later in many cities on the occasion of Chehlum. The government is practicing this technique since long when the former interior minister Rehman Malik invented this formula to prevent terrorist attacks on such occasions.
Cellular services are even blocked on the events of Eid that make it difficult for the masses to contact each other for Eid gatherings.
The ban on pillion-riding was already imposed in Karachi, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and some other sensitive cities.
In Peshawar, the entry of Afghan refugees has been banned. Mobile phones are likely to inaccessible on Tuesday in sensitive districts of the KPK province.
In Karachi, the pillion-riding has been banned till Jan 15. Over 5000 security men have been deployed in the metropolis to provide security to central Milad procession and other congregations elsewhere in the city. Cellular phone services will also remain suspended.
In Punjab, the cellular services will only be suspended in Rawalpindi district where the district administration has banned pillion riding. With the help of CCTV cameras, strict surveillance is being carried out in Lahore, Multan and other towns of Punjab.
In Quetta, over 3000 personnel of police, FC and Rangers have been deployed, with Pakistan Army also put on high alert to face any untoward incident.
According to a handout, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has issued instructions for foolproof security arrangements in the province. He directed that senior police and administrative officers should personally remain in the field to monitor security arrangements while elected representatives should supervise security measures in their respective areas. He said that security plan evolved for this purpose should be fully implemented and the routes of Eid Miladun Nabi processions should be cleared only after thorough checking.
He said that processions should be monitored through CCTV cameras.
3,000 to man Attock security
More than 3,000 security personnel including policemen and volunteers will provide security cover to 46 Eid Milad-un-Nabi (SAWW) processions which will be taken out today (Tuesday) from different localities of Attock district.
In Attock city main procession will be taken out from Liaqat Ali Khan Shaheed Stadium led by State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmad and religious scholars and prayer leadrers. According to the security plan, 6 DSPs, 18 SHOs, 150 ASIs, 115 head Constables, 1200 constables and 1800 volunteers will perform security duties under close supervision of District Police Officer Israr Ahmad Abbasi. Police personnel will be deployed in front of and behind the processions while rooftop surveillance will also be carried out. As per the sources metal detectors and walkthrough gates will be installed along the procession routes before clearing them.