Pillion riding to be banned in Karachi from eve of 9th Muharram, says Sindh CM

September 01, 2019

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Pakistani security personnel patrol during a procession in Muharram. — AFP/File
Pakistani security personnel patrol during a procession in Muharram. — AFP/File

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Sunday approved a ban on pillion riding in Karachi from the night of the 8th of Muharram until Ashura in order to maintain law and order and avoid any untoward incident.

In a meeting with officials of government and law enforcement agencies, the chief minister said that while he is not in favour of pillion riding, the recent murder of a doctor by motorcyclists has "forced him to take the decision". In the rest of the province, the ban will be imposed on the 9th and 10th of the Islamic month.

Shah said that while there had been no major untoward incident in Sindh in the past three years, the killing of the doctor shows that the government "still has a lot to do".

"We have done our best in the restoration of law and order situation in the city (Karachi) but we still have to do a lot," he told the attendees.

Shah directed Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sindh Syed Kaleem Imam to start 'snap checking' all over the province. He also approved the installation of extra CCTV cameras that were used in the general elections last year and directed law enforcement agencies to deploy heavy forces of police and Rangers. He further said that 52 companies of Pakistan armed forces should be in reserve so that they could be called upon in case of emergency.

Director General Rangers Maj Gen Omer Ahmed Bokhari, while briefing the chief minister, said that out of the 52 army companies, that will be deployed across the province, 14 will be posted in Karachi, five in Hyderabad, four in Mirpurkhas, three in Shaheed Benazirabad, 10 in Sukkur and 16 in Larkana divisions.

The IGP told Shah that 71,485 policemen and women will be on duty during Muharram across Sindh out of which 7,044 officers would be mobile force, 52,725 will be static, 6,539 will be deployed at police pickets and 5,177 would be on reserve.

About 1,022 traffic policemen will be deployed across Sindh in order to control traffic, IGP Imam added.

Security arrangements have been beefed up across the country for the first 10 days of Muharram. Apart from a ban on pillion riding, carrying arms and ammunition except for uniformed personnel of police, Rangers and other law enforcement agencies will also be banned from Muharram 1 to 10.

The assembly of five or more people except in Muharram processions, majalis and tazia, and objectionable and provocative wall chalking, banners, posters and speeches have also been banned for 10 days under Section 144. Aerial firing and taking out of processions without the permission of competent authorities have also been barred.