KARACHI/LAHORE/QUETTA: The 9th of Muharram is being observed across the country today in solemnity to honour the memory of Karbala.
Processions will be taken out in different cities to mourn the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
Religious Affairs Minister Dr Noor-ul-Haq Qadri in a statement said the supreme sacrifice of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) in Karbala taught a lesson to all and sundry to firmly stand against tyranny and injustice.
Strict security arrangements have been made, with the federal government announcing a two-day holiday. Cellular services are to be suspended in major cities along routes the mourning processions are set to pass through.
Cellular service will remain suspended in the federal capital till the end of the procession, police said on Friday. Service is likely to remain suspended in Islamabad’s Sector G/7 and G/6.
In Quetta, the main procession will leave from Nasirul Azra Imam Bargah in the afternoon. Strict security measures have been taken with cellular services suspended in the city.
In Karachi, 6,368 police officials have been deployed in the city with snipers posted at main procession routes, according to a police spokesperson. Procession route and surrounding streets and alleys have been cordoned off with containers. Police and Rangers have also been deployed for security while the procession will be monitored through CCTV cameras.
The main procession in the metropolis will proceed from Nishtar Park and will end at Hussainiya Iranian after going through its designated routes. Procession participants will offer noon prayers in front of Imambargah Ali Raza on MA Jinnah Road.
The Sindh government has also imposed a ban on pillion riding on Muharram 9 and 10 to avoid any untoward incident and maintain law and order in the province.
A ban has also been imposed on carrying arms or ammunition, assembly of five or more persons (with the exception of Muharram processions).
In Rohri, the procession will be taken out from Imam Shahrah-e-Iraq with hundreds of pilgrims and mourners from across the country attending.
Security has also been beefed up in Peshawar, Multan, Sargodha and Hangu as the cities prepare for 9th Muharram processions. Cellular service has also been suspended in these cities, with extra police officials deployed to thwart off any unwanted incident.
Security has been upgraded in many districts of Khyber Pakhthunkhawa after threats of attacks and busting of a terrorist group in Charsadda district, which, according to officials, was planning attacks on police during Muharram.
“Cellular phone services will be suspended on the 9th and 10th of Muharram. There are around 6000 policemen and Frontier Constabulary personnel deployed for security in Peshawar, which will be increased to over 8,000 in the last days,” Capital City Police Officer Mohammad Ali Gandapur told The News.
As many as 43 checkpoints have been set up in Peshawar while security has been upgraded at 64 entry points to the city.