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New Muharram procession routes in Rawalpindi banned

October 29, 2013

RAWALPINDI, Oct 28: The City District Government Rawalpindi (CDGR) on Monday imposed a ban on new routes for Muharram procession and only allowed the traditional ones, a senior official of the local government told Dawn.

It urged the administration of Ashura and Muharram processions to arrange generators and walkthrough gates to avoid any untoward situation in Muharram.

“There will be no electricity loadshedding during Ashura, but the organisers should arrange the generators to keep their Majalis lit during Muharram in case of loadshedding,” said District Coordination Officer Sajid Zafar while speaking at the meeting held in his office to review the security and other arrangements for Muharram.

He directed the assistant commissioners, SHOs and town municipal officers to visit the traditional routes of the procession and remove any obstacle.

He directed the district officer, Solid Waste and Health Department, to provide all facilities to the participants of the Muharram processions.

He said that all the departments of the City District Government Rawalpindi should work together to avoid any untoward incident.The DCO said that the complaint cells would be established in different areas of the city from the first of Muharram.

The District Coordination Officer directed the police and emergency services to submit their security plan to the administration as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, the commissioner held a meeting with the Ulema of all schools of thought and members of district peace committees.

MPA Raja Shaukat Aziz Bhatti, RPO Rawalpindi Zaeem Iqbal, DCOs and DPOs of Rawalpindi, Jhelum, Chakwal and Attock also attended the meeting.

The commissioner stressed the need to promote harmony and tolerance during the month to help maintain peace.

He said all-out security would be provided to Majalis and the processions, and for this purpose a comprehensive plan would be implemented in coordination with all departments concerned, religious scholars and leaders.

He said the religious scholars should help the administration identify elements promoting religious hatred through provocative speeches and graffiti.

Regional Police Officer Zaeem Iqbal said the religious scholars played a vital role in maintaining peace.

The RPO said that the police and other law enforcement agencies had made a comprehensive plan for the security of the Majalis and processions.

The Ulema assured the administration of their help in maintaining law and order during Muharram.

They said Islam was the religion of peace and tolerance, and respect for Muharram was mandatory for Muslims of all schools of thought.

They said that terrorism and religious hatred could not be tolerated anymore and Ulema would frustrate all plans of enemies of the country through harmony.