The Government of Pakistan on Monday (9 September) suspended mobile phone and internet services in various parts of the nation, including the bustling cities of Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Karachi and Islamabad, ahead of Muharram, reports India TV.
Justifying the need to cut off the services for Monday and Tuesday, Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) reasoned that suspension was necessary as Shia sect of Muslims will observe their most important ritual on Tuesday (10 September).
Further, it should be noted that the Government of Pakistan has increased the security in select parts of various cities so as to prevent clashes and violent flare-up during the Muharram procession of Shia community. Thousands of security personnel have been deployed on the routes of the Muharram procession.
As per the officials from PTA, such measures have also been made in the past, all at the last moment, in order to limit outbreaks of violence.
The move by Pakistan comes amid its criticism of India for clampdown on internet services in Jammu and Kashmir after abrogating its special status.