Cellphone services in seven cities of Punjab will remain suspended due to security concerns on Youm-e-Ashur, said a notification issued by the provincial home department on Wednesday.
According to the notification, the Punjab government has sought details from the district administrations of the seven cities where mobile phone services will be suspended.
Cellphone services will remain suspended in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Sheikhupura, Jehlum, Chiniot, Okara and Bahawalpur on the 10th of Muharram.
The notification sent to the cities has directed district administrations to let the provincial government know the timings when cellular services will be suspended. It further said that the timings will be sent to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) so that any untoward accident can be avoided on the day.
SC allows govt to suspend cellular services
Earlier, the Supreme Court had ruled that the government can suspend cellular services under “special circumstances”.
The orders were issued during a hearing of the Ministry of Information and the PTA’s petitions against mobile phone companies.
The apex court had decided that the government can suspend cellular services under special circumstances and ordered the PTA and the IT ministry to come up with relevant SOPs and procedures to do so.
In April, the Supreme Court had set aside a 2018 order by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in which it had ruled that the government could not suspend mobile phone services on the pretext of public safety.
The IHC had said that the PTA and federal government’s actions and directives were inconsistent with the provisions of Section 54(3) of the PTA Act 1996.
“The federal government or the authority are, therefore, not vested with the power and jurisdiction to suspend or cause the suspension of mobile cellular services or operations on the ground of national security except as provided under section 54(3),” the order had read.