PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa home department on Thursday ordered the imposition of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code across the province except Malakand division in the upcoming month of Muharram.

In a notification, the department said Muharram was expected to begin on July 19, so all divisional commissioners, except Malakand’s, should direct their respective deputy commissioners to ban the display and brandishing of arms, pillion riding, use of tinted glass in vehicles, and standing of the people on the rooftops of buildings and houses along the Muharram procession routes and imambargahs in their respective areas under Section 144.

It added that a ban should be slapped on the stay of “strangers” in hotels and houses on the routes of Muharram processions and imambargahs.

Another notification by the home department read, “Necessary arrangements should be made and requirements based on assessment of the situation should be furnished to the office of the home secretary at the earliest.”

Says ban to be slapped on arms display, pillion riding, vehicles with tinted glass

The department asked the deputy commissioners to form divisional and district intelligence committees to devise strategy to handle Muharram security issues and said the home department should be informed about the related financial requirements.

“The police department should furnish details of the security deployment and sensitivity wise breakup of districts,” it said.

The department issued directions to the health, population and social welfare departments to inform it about their requirements on comprehensive health contingency plan and women staff members for Muharram duty, while the local government department was asked to share requirements on basic municipal services at tehsil municipal administration levels.

It directed the relief and rehabilitation department to submit a report on Rescue 1122 services, while the Peshawar Electric Supply Company and Tribal Electric Supply Company were told to maintain uninterrupted power supply across the province during Muharram.

Also, the home department issued directions the relevant officials to restrict the movement of the Afghan refugees to their camps.

“Muharram is expected to commence from July 19 and therefore, it is requested that movement of the Afghan refugees be restricted to their camps and that they’re not allowed to move around,”read a notification issued by the home department on Friday.

It was sent to all divisional commissioners and commissioner Afghan refugees for compliance.

Meanwhile, deputy commissioner of Peshawar Shah Fahad on Friday held a meeting with senior officials in the provincial capital about the law and order situation during Muharram.

The meeting was attended by officers of the armed forces and police, Shia elders, traders, and members of the Muttahida Aman Committee, Imamia Jirga and Idarah Tableegh-Al-Islam and elders of the Anjuman-i-Tableegh Al-Quran Wa Sunnah, according to a statement issued by the office of the deputy commissioner.

It added that the deputy commissioners stressed the need for ensuring that cable operators don’t air provocative programmes.

The elders assured the deputy commissioner of their all-out support for maintaining the law and order situation in the provincial capital during Muharram.

Published in Dawn, July 15th, 2023

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