Sindh Court Reverses Cell Phone Suspension

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The Pakistani federal government briefly suspended cell phone service in Karachi and Quetta but restored it after the Sindh High Court ordered that service be available media reported.

The government November 16 was to suspend service in Karachi and Quetta from 10am until 7pm over security concerns on the first day of the Islamic month of Muharram, media reported. However, the Sindh High Court ordered the government to restore service and phones were online in the afternoon, media reported.

During the first part of Muharram, Shia Muslims celebrate Ashura, and the related activities sometimes have been targeted by militants.

Markets were to close in Karachi and Quetta at 5pm November 16 because intelligence reports suggested the risk of terror attacks, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said.

Malik said the government had also prohibited tinted windows on all vehicles except for those belonging to security agencies, media added.

Authorities have declared Peshawar, Hangu and Dera Ismail Khan as the most sensitive zones in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) during Ashura and have declared Tank, Bannu, Kohat and Mansehra as sensitive, KP Police spokesman Riaz Yousafzai said.

"Ten thousand security personnel have been deployed in Peshawar," Riaz said.

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