ISLAMABAD – As part of security measures, cellular services will be suspended for a few hours in several parts of the country on the religious festival of Eidul Azha, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Tuesday.

Interacting with a group of reporters, the minister promised foolproof security for Eidul Azha, and added that mobile phone services could be suspended in a few areas over security concerns. He also said that banned outfits would not be allowed to collect hides of sacrificial animals forcefully.

He added that provincial authorities had been directed to act sternly against them.

The government, said Malik, foiled a few terror bids with the help of the media. “We have identified and captured some terrorists with the help of video footage provided by certain media outlets.” About the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Asghar Khan case, the minister contended that the ruling Pakistan People’s Party respected the judiciary and accepted its every decision. He, however, came down hard on PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for not accepting the verdict. He also recalled that PPP leaders had been dragged to the court during the Nawaz Sharif era.