ISLAMABAD – The Ministry of Interior has officially asked Pakistan Telecom Authority to block cellular service in different locations along the route of Tahirul Qadri’s long march. As the first step, complying with the orders from the Interior Ministry, PTA blocked the service in Lahore that was restored with the exit of the long march from Lahore region.

Official sources told The Nation that blockage of cellular service had technically been divided into three regions. The first region was Lahore. After restoring the service to Lahore, it was to be blocked in all the areas up to the Jhelum River and then in Islamabad and the entire Potohar region.

As far as the Islamabad region is concerned, nobody can tell how long the blockage will last as it all depends on the dispersal of the long march participants. Most probably, the cellular service in Islamabad will be blocked starting from Monday (today) morning and remain suspended at least the whole day. If the long march participants stay longer, it can last 2-3 days.

It is also pertinent to mention here that even if the long-march does not enter the capital on the Monday morning but crosses the River Jhelum, the citizens will have to face suspension of the service. Certain quarters also believe that the cellular service is not being blocked just to avoid any terrorism threat in the march, but Rehman Malik has also the motive to create hurdle for the people to contact those coming from different cities.