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ISLAMABAD: The government has directed cellular mobile companies to suspend the service in all major cities on Aug 14 for security purposes.

The Pakistan Telecom­mu­nication Authority (PTA) confirmed on Saturday that mobile phones would not work in all capitals — Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, and Muzaffarabad — and some other important cities of the country from 6am till 2pm on Sunday.

The PTA said that in Islamabad cellular connections would not be available in a 10-kilometre radius around the Convention Centre, the venue for the flag-hoisting ceremony on Independence Day.

Other details about the suspension of the service were not being disclosed because they could defeat the purpose of ensuring security in the capital city on Independence Day.

In a letter on Aug 11, the district magistrate requested the government to shut down mobile phone services to avoid any untoward incident at the flag-hoisting ceremony.

According to an official of a cellular mobile company, 3G and 4G services are likely to be affected with the phone towers switched off.

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2016