Cell phones go silent in 52 cities across Pakistan

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Islamabad: Cellular services have been suspended in 52 cities across Pakistan on Sunday on the orders of federal government.

The ban encompasses major cities like Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar and Lahore.

In some parts of the country, landline and wireless services have also been blocked to avert possible attacks on processions.

The services are partly blocked in the country’s capital Islamabad, however, and the ban will remain in effect in sectors F-11 and I-10 only.

Mobile services went down in various areas of Karachi three hours before the scheduled time.

The services were suspended to prevent terrorist activities during and provide security to Shiite mourners, according to the Interior Ministry.

Earlier, the ministry had blocked the cell phone network in Karachi and Quetta for around 11 hours on Friday. Authorities again blocked the services around six hours after its restoration at 6am on Saturday.

Mobile services were resumed around 12am on Sunday, three hours after country’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik ordered to restore them “immediately”.

The cities where cellular services will remain suspended are:

Sindh: Karachi, Khairpur and Larkana

Punjab: Lahore, Multan, Sargodha, Attock, Jhang, Rahimyar Khan, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Bhakkar, Pakpattan, Nankana Sahib, Dera Ghazi Khan and Muzaffargarh

Balochistan: Quetta, Kalat, Khuzdar, Turbat, Gwadar, Panjgur, Mastung, Kohlu, Dera Bugti and Hub

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Kohat, Ustarzai, Hungo, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Dera Ismail Khan, Tank, Nowshera, Haripur, Charsadda and Mardan

Fata: Parachinar and Miramshah; and

Muzaffarabad, Mirpur, Kotli, Rawalakot, Neelum Valley in Azad Kashmir, and in Gilgit.

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