March 21:Pakistan on Monday suspended mobile phone services in the capital Islamabad and adjacent Rawalpindi for security reasons to foil an attempt by terrorists to sabotage dress rehearsal ahead of Pakistan Day. The National Day will be celebrated on Wednesday with a grand parade by the armed forces in Islamabad.
Exhibition of major weapons and cultural activities are also part of the celebration. As part of the tradition, full rehearsal is carried ahead of the parade. Officials said that the phone service will remain suspended till Monday afternoon. Stringent security measures are in place in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi to avoid any untoward incident on the National Day. Rangers and police have enhanced patrolling as a dress rehearsal is currently underway, security officials said. “Same rule will apply on March 23 when mobile phone service will be switched off from morning till afternoon,” he said. The internet is also not working smoothly in some areas. Strict security measures have been put in place to deal with any threat by the militants. The last parade was held on March 23, 2008, reviewed by General Pervez Musharraf as a civilian president, but was discontinued owing to security concerns.