Ashura observed across Pakistan amid tight security arrangements

Updated September 10, 2019

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A large number of mourners attending procession on Monday at New MA Jinnah Road in Karachi. — APP
A large number of mourners attending procession on Monday at New MA Jinnah Road in Karachi. — APP

Ashura was observed across the country with solemnity on Tuesday to pay homage to Imam Husain and other martyrs of Karbala amid strict security to protect mourners from any untoward incident.

Processions were carried out in various cities as thousands of security personnel protect the mourners.

Karachi

In Karachi, the main Ashura procession started at Nishtar Park and concluded at Hussainian Iranian Imambargah in Kharadar. According to the latest update from the IGP Operations Room at the Central Police Office (CPO), the head of the procession was at Hussainian Iranian Imambargah in Kharadar.

Routes of Muharram processions in Karachi. — Photo courtesy Karachi Traffic Police
Routes of Muharram processions in Karachi. — Photo courtesy Karachi Traffic Police

Accompanied by Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah reached New Preedy Street Lines Area where he led the procession.

The provincial police chief, Dr Syed Kaleem Imam, reviewed police deployments and security arrangements on various routes.

Ahead of Ashura, police and Rangers claimed to have taken all-out measures to ensure security for the main procession to be taken out in the city.

Sindh IGP Dr Syed Kaleem Imam, CM Murad Ali Shah and Information Minister Saeed Ghani pictured at the procession in Karachi. — Photo provided by Imtiaz Ali
Sindh IGP Dr Syed Kaleem Imam, CM Murad Ali Shah and Information Minister Saeed Ghani pictured at the procession in Karachi. — Photo provided by Imtiaz Ali

"Foolproof security measures have been made for the main procession of 10th Muharram on Tuesday (today). The procession would start early at around 7:30am and culminate in Kharadar at around 4pm," DIG-East Amir Farooqi had said.

He had said that 7,000 policemen and 3,000 Rangers personnel would be deployed for the security of the procession in the city. Aerial surveillance — through drone cameras — of the main procession would also be carried out.

Officials had said that mobile phone service would also be suspended at particular places in the city and other parts of the province on the request of DIGs/commissioners concerned. A ban on pillion-riding was also in place in the metropolis.

Lahore

In Lahore, the main procession started at Nisar Haveli at midnight and culminated after passing through Mochi Gate, Mori Gate, Wazir Khan Mosque, Paniwala Talaab areas. Namaz-i-Zuhrain were offered at Rung Mehal.

The procession culminated at Karbala Gamay Shah.

Over 8,000 police officials were deployed in the city. At least 14 superintendents of police, 24 deputy superintendents of police and 87 inspectors were also deployed. The special security unit of Lahore police, the Anti-Riot Force, the Dolphin Squad and the Police Response Unit were also on duty.

Additionally, barbed wires and barriers were placed on roads leading to the main procession. Snipers had positioned on roofs of buildings on the procession route. Attendees of the procession were allowed entry following security checks.

Mobile services had also been suspended in areas where the procession was passing through.

Quetta

The procession in Quetta has also reached to its destination. Namaz-i-Zuhrain were offered at the Bacha Khan Chowk area. Amid tight security, the procession started from Alamdar Road, passed through the traditional routes before culminating in the Alamdar Road area of Marriabad.

Tight security arrangements were made across Balochistan to observe Ashura with over 5,500 policemen deployed to maintain order. Frontier Corps personnel were positioned at sensitive locations and at check posts to avoid any untoward incident.

Dozens of small processions were taken out in the city and they all gathered at Alamdar Road.

Read: Over 8,000 security men deployed in Balochistan for Ashura

Earlier, Balochistan Home Minister Mir Ziaullah Langove visited the central police office where a control room had been set up to monitor all processions which would join the main Ashura procession at Panjabi Imambargah.

Rawalpindi

According to Radio Pakistan, the main procession in Rawalpindi emerged from Imambargah Colonel Maqbool Hussain and culminated at Imambargah Qadeemi in the Bani area.

The procession routes were dotted with sabeel stalls which are providing water, milk and tea to mourners.

Tight security arrangements were made with walk-through gates and CCTV cameras installed in order to check the entry and exit of people. Metro bus services had also been suspended in the city.

Peshawar

In Peshawar, multiple Ashura processions were taken out and concluded after passing through the traditional routes.

According to Radio Pakistan, mobile phone services had been suspended in the city as part of security measures.