Islamabad: Mobile phone services were temporarily suspended on Friday in two major cities of Pakistan, and motorcyclists ordered to stay off the roads due to security concerns on the first day of the Muslim festival of Muharram.

The orders were issued by the federal government for Karachi and Quetta, a Pakitani daily reported. Interior Minister Rehman Malik ordered all motorbike riders to stay off the roads in the two cities. He said "no one will be allowed to carry weapons". Malik said markets would remain closed for a few hours.

Permissions for tinted glass on vehicles stood cancelled across the country, although security related official vehicles would be exempted. The interior ministry had earlier blocked mobile phone services in major cities on several occasions, including during Eid.

(Agencies)

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