Youm-i-Ali security: Cell phone services suspended in Karachi

Published July 8, 2015
The Sindh government has decided to suspend mobile phone services today from 4pm to 9pm. For tomorrow, mobile phone services will be suspended from 9am to 9pm in major cities of Sindh. -Reuters
The Sindh government has decided to suspend mobile phone services today from 4pm to 9pm. For tomorrow, mobile phone services will be suspended from 9am to 9pm in major cities of Sindh. -Reuters

KARACHI: The provincial government has started to block mobile phone services in Karachi on Wednesday as a security measure on account of Youm-i-Ali tomorrow.

The Sindh government has decided to suspend mobile phone services today from 4pm to 9pm. For tomorrow, mobile phone services will be suspended from 9am to 9pm in major cities of Sindh, including Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur.

A day earlier the provincial government also imposed a ban on pillion-riding in Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur for two days for the security of Youm-i-Ali processions, an official said.

“The ban shall not be applicable to women, children below the age of 12, senior citizens, journalists, personnel of law enforcing agencies and security agencies in uniform and employees of the essential services,” the official added.

Several roads in the city will also be closed to all kinds of traffic on July 8 and July 9 and traffic police has issued a comprehensive traffic plan to ensure the safety of the mourners. Motorists have been advised to use alternative routes and there will be a ban on parking any vehicle along the route and near imambargahs.

A spate of terrorist attacks in the past have targeted Youm-i-Ali processions in major cities of the country. In 2012, firing during a Youm-i-Ali procession in Karachi's Bolton market area had caused panic.

Mobile phone services were first suspended in major cities on account of security for religious processions during the tenure of PPP's last government. Then interior minister Rehman Malik introduced the measure to try and curb repeated attacks on religious processions.

Youm-i-Ali is observed every year on 21st of Ramazan to mourn the martyrdom anniversary of Hazrat Ali (RA). Processions are taken out throughout the country.

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