ISLAMABAD: Federal Interior Minister, Rehman A Malik has announced selective cellular blackout on October 27, the first day of Eid-ul-Azha, as a security measure, Geo News reported.
Addressing a press conference here on Friday he said that mobile services would be blocked only in those cities, which the intelligence reports had declared at high-risk of terrorist activities and not the whole Pakistan.
"It will not be a countrywide shut down, it will be partial, only in cities and pockets considered sensitive," he said.
Terrorists were plotting to target three cities in Punjab province, two in southern Sindh and some in the insurgency hit Baluchistan and northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa bordering Afghanistan, he said, but did not reveal their names for security reasons.
"We have received 13 intelligence alerts" about security threats, Malik told reporters.
"Users will have to face loss of mobile connectivity for four hours from 06:00 AM to 10:00 AM", said he.
Malik said he regretted the "inconvenience" the suspension of mobile service will cause, particularly to the country's youth.
Giving a breakup he said that that most of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 20 cities in Balochistan, three Punjab, and two cities located in Sindh would be affected by this security measure.
Authorities fear mobile phones could be used to coordinate attacks or trigger a remote-controlled bomb.
To a question, he said his ministry had received recommendations to this effect from all the provincial governments.
"We have to answer their call in the broader interest of Pakistan", he added.
Replying to another query, he said that Sindh House Court had not barred the interior ministry from freezing the cellular service for security purposes rather tied it with an approval from Presidency.
Responding to a question regarding Muslim League-Nawaz's reposing trust in Federal Investigation Agency with regard to Asghar Khan Case probe, he said his department would not let PML-N leader down.
"It was strange to note that PML-N was divided on FIA probe. Shahbaz Sharif had never objected to FIA probes when he was in power, why now?" Malik said