KARACHI/LAHORE/QUETTA: The 9th of Muharram was observed across the country today in solemnity to honour the memory of Karbala.
Processions were 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 were made, with the federal government announcing a two-day holiday. Cellular services were suspended in major cities along routes the mourning processions were set to pass through.
In Quetta, the main procession was brought out from Nasirul Azra Imam Bargah in the afternoon. Strict security measures were taken with cellular services suspended in the city.
In Karachi, 6,368 police officials were deployed in the city with snipers posted at main procession routes, according to a police spokesperson. Procession routes and surrounding streets and alleys were cordoned off with containers. Police and Rangers were deployed for security while the processions were monitored through high-tech CCTV cameras.
The main procession in the metropolis was brought out from Nishtar Park and concluded at Hussainiya Iranian Imam Bargah after going through its designated routes. Procession participants offered 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 was brought 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 for Muharram processions and majalis. Cellular service was also 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.