Chehlum processions taken out across Pakistan amid tight security

Published September 17, 2022
<p>Chehlum processions taken out across Pakistan on Saturday. — Photo by Radio Pakistan</p>

Chehlum processions taken out across Pakistan on Saturday. — Photo by Radio Pakistan

The Chehlum of Imam Husain and his companions was observed across Pakistan on Saturday with due reverence and solemnity.

Processions of zuljanah and tazias in various major cities with hundreds of mourners accompanying them and reciting nohas were marching as security in major cities was beefed up.

On Friday, the Interior Ministry deployed armed troops in all four provinces including Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir under Section 4(3)(i) of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.

A Central Control Room was also established at the ministry to monitor the overall security situation in the country.

Karachi

The main procession in Karachi, which was taken out from Nishtar Park at 1pm, passed through its traditional route and culminated at Husanian Iranian Imambargah in Kharadar.

Separately, a procession was also taken out from the Imambargah in Martin Quarters earlier in the day. It later joined the main procession at Nishtar Park on M.A. Jinnah Road from Gurumandir.

 Traffic diversion plan issued by the Karachi police for the Chehlum procession. — Photo: Twitter
Traffic diversion plan issued by the Karachi police for the Chehlum procession. — Photo: Twitter

During the course of this journey, mourners covered Sir Shahnawaz Bhutto Road, Mehfil-i-Shah-i-Khorasan, MA Jinnah Road, Mansfield street, Preedy street and Bolton Market.

“The main procession of Chehlum of Imam Husain ended peacefully as no untoward incident was reported from any area,” said City Senior Superintendent of Police Shabbir Ahmed Sethar.

All roads leading to the procession route were closed to traffic, while mobile phone services were suspended.

Lahore

In Lahore, more than 8,000 police officers were deployed along the route of the procession, Lahore DIG Operations Afzaal Ahmed Kauser told Dawn.com.

“Community volunteers, elite and anti-riots force and plainclothed police jawans have also been deployed,” he said, adding that the central procession was monitored by the Safe Cities Authority and district administration cameras.

Islamabad and Rawalpindi

Meanwhile, the Islamabad police said that the main procession of the day passed in the city peacefully.

“All Shia-Sunni gatherings, processions and gatherings in Muharram and Safar are safe. Spreading religious confusion and propaganda on social media should be avoided. Legal action can be taken against those who spread mental confusion and propaganda,” it tweeted.

On the other hand, another procession in Rawalpindi was underway. According to a Dawn report on Friday, schools, colleges and markets in the city were closed today.

The police chalked out a traffic plan and deployed more than 3,600 police and 236 wardens on Saturday.

As part of the traffic plan, diversions were placed at 12 points while snipers wiere deployed on rooftops, streets, and roads along the routes of the processions. Other roads were sealed with razor wire and barricades.

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