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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed the law enforcement agencies to make necessary arrangements for continuous vigilance of Muharram Majalis and processions till Chehlum and develop close liaisons with Ulema and religious leaders for this purpose.

While presiding over a meeting to review security plan worked out by the Pakistan Rangers and Sindh police for Muharram, the chief minister said, “I would personally hold meetings with the Ulema and Mashaikh” and expressed satisfaction over security situation in the city.

However, he asked deputy commissioners to involve local bodies to ensure sectarian harmony for maintenance of law and order as well as to ensure cleanliness, supply of water and repair of sewage lines and roads where needed.

The meeting was attended by Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal, Minister for Information Syed Nasir Shah, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, Home Secretary Qazi Shahid Parvez, DG Rangers Major General Mohammad Saeed, IGP A.D. Khuwaja, Additional IGs Sanaullah Abbasi and Mushtaq Maher, Principal Secretary Sohail Rajput, Karachi Commissioner Aijaz Ali Khan and others.

The Rangers DG said that 8,000 personnel would be deployed for security in different areas from the first day of Muharram till the 20th of Safar when the Chehlum of Imam Hussain was observed. He said that the Rangers would keep close coordination with other law enforcement and intelligence agencies to ensure security.

Sindh IG Police A.D. Khwaja informed the chief minister that there were 1,932 Imambargahs across Sindh. He said 9,295 majalis would be held and 4,004 matami processions and 1,658 Tazia processions would be taken out in the province.

The police chief said that of the 9,269 Majalis across the province, 583 were declared most sensitive, 2,463 sensitive and 6,249 were placed in normal category. Similarly, 340 matami processions were declared most sensitive, 1,337 sensitive and 2,327 normal; while 65 Tazia processions were declared most sensitive, 626 sensitive and 967 normal.

Talking about the programmes being planned for Karachi, the police chief said that 179 majalis were declared most sensitive, 767 sensitive and 320 normal. Of the 694 matami processions, 116 were declared most sensitive, 530 sensitive and 48 normal. As far as Tazia processions were concerned, no procession was categorized as most sensitive but 198 Tazia processions were declared sensitive and 217 normal.

The IG said the deployment of police force had been made according to the sensitivity of the processions, majalis and Tazias.

He said 61,545 police officials would be deployed for Muharram duty. Of them, 34,827 personnel would be static, 9,087 would be deployed at pickets, 6,600 on police mobile vans and 2,914 on motorcycles.

Besides there would be reserve force also performing security duties in different parts of the city, he added.The chief minister also directed the home minister to timely coordinate with interior ministry for the suspension of cellphone services when and where required.

Bohra spiritual leader welcomed

Mr Shah also welcomed the Dawoodi Bohra Jamaat spiritual leader, Syedna Aliqadar Mufaddal Saifuddin, who decided to observe Muharram in Karachi this year. “This is the manifestation of his confidence in our city where we have restored peace,” he said.

He directed the IG police and Karachi commissioner to provide the community necessary security and facilitate their programmes.

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2017