ISLAMABAD/QUETTA - Citing security reasons, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik has announced that the cellular service in sensitive areas of the country will be suspended for four hours on the first day of Eidul Azha.

“The cellular service will be (partially) suspended from 6am to 10am on the first day of Eidul Azha,” the minister told the media on Friday.

Three cites of Punjab, two of Sindh, 20 of Balochistan and most parts of KP will face the interruption, the minister said, adding that that the decision was made on the recommendation of provincial governments after intelligence reports of possible terror acts on the festival.

Earlier, the Balochistan government decided to suspend mobile phone service on October 27 for four hours.

In a statement issued by the Balochistan Home Ministry, the cellular service would be frozen from 7am to 11am on first Eid day.

Home Secretary Akbar Durrani said that security had been beefed up across the province in general and Quetta in particular. “Policing at all the entryways and exits will be doubled in Quetta”, he added.

Meanwhile, people throughout Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Held Kashmir will celebrate Eidul Azha on Saturday (today) with religious zeal and fervour and make pledge to lead the life according to the injunctions of Islam.

Millions of people will sacrifice animals following the Sunnah of Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) and his son Hazrat Ismail (AS), who offered to lay down their lives in obedience to the command of Allah Almighty.

Muslims all over the country will offer Eid prayers following which they would sacrifice animals and share the meat with the poor and the relatives.

Eid prayers will be held for the national solidarity, integrity and prosperity of the country besides offering prayers for the liberation of Held Kashmir, Palestine and for peace and stability in the region.

Eid congregations will be held throughout the country and Federal and the provincial metropolis which include Faisal Masjid, Islamabad, Alamgiri Masjid, Masjid Data Darbar, Masjid Shuhada Lahore, Memon Masjid Karachi, Masjid Mahbat Khan Peshawar and Eidgah Toghi Road, Quetta.

Eid prayers will also be offered at Imambargahs, Eidgah, open space, and the jamia mosques throughout the country.

Tight security arrangements have been adopted at every place where the Eid prayers will be offered. In Karachi, Quetta and parts of Khyber PK, Rangers will also be deployed at the places which have declared highly sensitive on occasion of Eid.

A large number of people affected by the recent floods in South Punjab and Sindh are quite depressed on the Eid after their cattle have been lost to the flood waters.

President Asif Ali Zardari will offer Eid prayers at Faisal Masjid while Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf is performing Haj in Saudi Arabia alongwith his family.

PML-N President Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif will offer Eid prayers at his farm house at Jatti Umra, Raiwind, while Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif will celebrate Eid at Rajanpur with the flood affectees.

Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khan Khosa will offer Eid prayers at Alamgiri Masjid while Jamaat-e-Islami Chief Syed Munawar Hassan and other members of JI will offer Eid prayers at Mansoora.

PTI Chief Imran Khan is in US while Maulana Fazlur Rahman will celebrate Eid in his native town of Dera Ismail Khan while Asfand Yar Wali of ANP at Charsadda.

In the metropolis hundreds of thousands of believers will go to mosques and Eidgahs to offer Eid prayers at over 600 places. Besides Data Darbar and Masjid Shuhada, big Eid congregations will also be held at Karbala Gamey Shah, Islampura Mosque, Masjid Wazir Khan, Minhajul Quran and Bagh-e-Jinnah.

Ulema and Khateebs from different schools of thought will deliver special sermons and lectures to highlight the significance of the day and call upon Muslims to follow the teachings of Islam.

All centres of Pakistan Television Corporation,  Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation and private channels have chalked out special programmes for the auspicious occasion. Newspapers will also take out special editions to highlight the distinctive features of the sacred day. Special arrangements for Eid prayers at all jails across the province, have also been made.

Lahore Zoo management has also arranged a variety of programmes  to attract visitors during Eid holidays.

According to the police officials, tight security arrangements have been made throughout the province to avoid any untoward incident on the occasion.

Our Staff Reporter from Peshawar adds: Tribesmen in most parts of Tribal Areas and Afghan refugees living in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa celebrated Eid-ul-Azha with Saudi Arabia on Friday, while official Ruet-e-Hilal Committee had announced to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha on Saturday (today) across the country.

Following their traditions to have both Eids whether Eidul Fitr or Eidul Azha with Saudi Arabia on same day, this time too, in most parts of FATA including South Waziristan, North Waziristan, Orakzai Agency, Bajaur Agency, Mohmand Agency, Khyber Agency, and tehsil Shabqadar in Charsadda district celebrated Eid, a day before the official announcement that Eidul Azha will be celebrated on Saturday.

The locals said that they agreed with the opinion of their religious scholars of observing Eid on Friday and they did so. Similarly, Afghan refugees living KPK and FATA also celebrated Eidul Azha.

To offer Eid prayers, a huge congregation was held at Kacha Ghari camp, in which, hundreds of Afghan refugees participated.

4-hr cellular sacrifice announced