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Tuesday, May 21, 2024  
12 Dhul-Qadah 1445  

PTA partially suspends mobile services in Karachi during Iranian president’s visit

Decision taken to ensure security of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s visit
Reuters/File
Reuters/File

Mobile services will remain suspended on specific routes in Karachi from 3:00pm on Tuesday till 8:00am on 24 April 2024, said the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority on Tuesday.

In a statement, the PTA said that the decision was taken on the directives of the interior ministry. The city administration has already declared a public holiday in the city today.

“This decision is being taken to ensure the security of the dignitary’s visit to Karachi,” it said.

This comes with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to Karachi. There were reports of suspension of mobile phone services after he landed in the city.

A trip to Karachi is part of his three-day visit to Pakistan that commenced on Monday. He arrived in the neighbouring country with his wife and a delegation, becoming the first head of the state to visit Pakistan after the February 8 general elections.

Thousands of policemen have been deployed in the city to ensure law and order situation. Major roads have also been blocked in this regard, with the administration saying that such measures were taken temporarily.

Earlier in the day, he visited Lahore. He met with Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz and Governor Muhammad Balighur Rehman.

President Raisi appreciated the rich cultural history of the city of Lahore and expressed admiration for the poet of the East, Dr Muhammad Iqbal, who is revered in Iran as “Iqbal-e-Lahori”.

He also praised the city of Lahore for its beauty and cultural contribution and expressed a desire for enhanced people-to-people contact with the people of Pakistan.

A joint declaration from Pakistan and Iran on Monday said that both countries have agreed to enhance the bilateral trade volume to $10 billion in the next five years.

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Official figures for current annual trade were not available. Business Recorder, citing Iran’s then-ambassador to Pakistan, last year reported bilateral trade worth over $2 billion.

The two countries signed a total of eight accords on varying subjects to enhance cooperation in the different fields including trade, science technology, agriculture, health, culture, and judicial matters.

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