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November 22, 2016

Millions mourn Imam Hussain’s martyrdom in Karbala

Top Story

November 22, 2016

Chehlum observed with sanctity across Pakistan

KARBALA: Millions of mourners wearing black clothes gathered in the holy city of Karbala on Monday at the shrines of Imam Hussain (AS), his relatives and followers to commemorate Arbaeen (40th day of his martyrdom) where they paid rich tributes to them in different languages.

The mourners mainly belonged to Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Bahrain, Yemen, Lebanon, different Middle Eastern countries, African countries, European countries, Canada, USA and others and everyone in their own language paid tributes to Imam Hussain (AS).

The Battle of Karbala took place on Muharram 10th, in the year 61AH of the Islamic calendar, so Arbaeen was commemorated on the 40th day of his martyrdom, which this year occurred on Monday (Nov 21, 2016).

The mourners belonging to Pakistan who were thousands in number, including men, women and children took out a procession on Monday at Karbala and reached in front of the shrine of Imam Hussain (AS) and Maula Ghazi Abbas (AS). After passing through Banul Harmeen, they raised slogans of Labaik Ya Hussain (AS). They recited different Pakistani Nohas for remembering the great sacrifices of Imam Hussain (AS) for the sake of Islam.

There are countless people here at Karbala but the state-run media is giving estimates that 30 million pilgrims entered Karbala during the last 10 days. Iraqi state-run media had estimated that more than 22 million and 17 million pilgrims visited Karbala in last two consecutive years in 2015 and 2014 respectively on the eve of Arbaeen.

Most of them made foot march from Najaf to Karbala amid tight security barricade along the roadside. When the mourners entered the province of Karbala, security official searched their bodies and only then allowed them to enter Karbala.

It took the pilgrims three to five days to enter Karbala and the faithful had a pleasant cool breeze that dropped the temperature, especially at night and early hours of morning. This correspondent saw many aged men, women and children walking more than 80 kilometres on Arbaeen foot march and many of them got injuries on their feet because of the long walk but they never abandoned and accomplished their mission in three to five days time.

“We have participated in this Arbaeen foot march to transform our lives in accordance with the teachings of Imam Hussain (AS) who had offered sacrifices for bringing reforms to highlight the teachings of his grandfather Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH),” Allama Samar Abbas, who participated in the foot march, said while talking to this correspondent on Monday.

No passenger vehicles could enter the premises of Karbala so everyone had to travel around five kilometres on foot for reaching the shrines of Shuhadae Karabla. Except security officials and administration, all other vehicles are banned in this area to ensure foolproof security.

When the mourners reached Karbala after walking more than 83 kilometres from Najaf to Karbala on Sunday, most of them visited the shrines of Imam Hussain (AS) and Hazrat Abbas (AS) and recited Ziarat Arbaeen in front of their Haram.

This correspondent paid a visit to the shrine of Imam Hussain (AS) at 3:00am. It was a soul-stirring sight. There were thousands of people trying to enter the premises of the shrine where everyone was waiting for offering Namaz-e-Shab and most of them preferred to offer morning prayer, which was offered at 5.15am Iraqi time.

“Of course, we are not afraid of anyone,” said Abdullah, a young man hailing from Karbala when this correspondent asked him about threats from the IS. He said why he should be scared as he was on the right path so he felt no need to get scared from these people.

Monitoring Desk adds: Meanwhile, in Pakistan, the Chehlum of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) was observed with utmost sanctity on Monday with stringent security measures in place across the country.

The main Chehlum procession in Karachi was taken out from the Nishtar Park and concluded at Hussainiya Iranian Imambargah, Kharadar, Geo News reported.

In Lahore, the main procession emerged from Haveli Asif Shah Androon Mochi Gate. In Rawalpindi, the procession was taken out from Imambargah Ashiq Hussain Committee Chowk at around 11am.

The processions in almost all the cities across the country peacefully culminated amid strict security by the law enforcement and security agencies.

Strict security arrangements were made ahead of Chehlum of the martyrs of Karbala. In Peshawar, heavy contingents of police were deployed in the inner city and cantonment to provide security to mourners.

“Cops were deployed on the rooftops and sensitive places to keep a check on any suspicious movement. Besides, the entry and exit points were strengthened with deployment of more cops,” said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Operations Sajjad Khan.

In Quetta, around 3,000 policemen were deployed for security of the Chehlum procession route, in addition to the FC and Levies personnel. A total of 2,250 policemen were deployed in the Quaidabad area, while 1,330 policemen in the Brewery area. Authorities also imposed an emergency at government hospitals in Quetta and doctors and paramedical staff were directed to be on duty. The government rescue organisations and ambulance services were also asked to be on standby for the Chehlum processions, from 9am to 5pm.

The main Chehlum procession in Quetta emerged from the Alamdar Road and concluded at Behishat Zehra, while Hazara Town procession ended at the Hazara Graveyard.


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