Islamabad - Curfew in Rawalpindi will be lifted from 6 am on Monday morning till further orders, however, Section 144 will remain imposed in the city, a private TV channel quoted the district coordination officer as saying on Sunday night.

He said there will be a ban on gatherings of people under the section. The administration had extended curfew from 12 am midnight till 6 am in the Monday morning.

An interior ministry spokesman said all markets, bazaars and the government educational institutions in the city will open on Monday. However, private schools administration said the private educational institutions will remain closed on Monday.

Earlier on Sunday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had said that curfew in Rawalpindi would be relaxed from 7:30pm till midnight. Addressing a press conference here the minister said the situation was improving in the country including Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

The minister said at eleven on Sunday‚ situation in Rawalpindi would be reviewed with the Punjab government and hoped the situation would be better for the next day.

Nisar said negotiations were held with Ulema of all schools of thought and they demonstrated their prudence.

He said Namaz-e-Janaza of three people was offered in an atmosphere of understanding. "It is very sad to see that an event which had seen an exceptional amount of cooperative and coordinated effort towards peace all the way from KPK to Karachi, and which was largely successful, was overshadowed by this incident," said Nisar.

He said the issue of violence was part of a larger problem in the country and had to be tackled with the bigger perspective.

"A judicial inquiry has been initiated, and that's all I want to say right now", the minister said, adding that the government had been in contact with all religious groups over the issue.

The minister said the incident left a scar on the peaceful situation during the first 10 days of Muharram. He remarked that it was extremely unfortunate that an Ashura which otherwise turned out to be an exceptionally peaceful one thanks to the tireless efforts of intelligence and security personnel, was tainted by one incident.

He also announced partial restoration of mobile phone services in the violence-hit city.