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September 25, 2017

Bohra community members travel to Karachi to observe Ashra Muharram


September 25, 2017

DUBAI: Pakistan’s visas have been issued; flights are booked from Dubai to Karachi and no other flights and seats are available from Dubai to Karachi. Nowadays it is the sight of Dubai airport where hundreds of Bohra Shias have been traveling to Karachi to observe the Muharram rituals after almost 19 years.

It seems that peace has not only returned to Karachi but the ultra-mega city of Pakistan has also been witnessing hundreds of Bohra Shia Community members nowadays to observe Muharram rituals after almost 19 years.

More than 2,000 Bohra Shias applied for visa application to Pakistan missions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to travel to the country. Pakistan Consulate, Dubai, made special counters in the premises and dedicated extra staff from other departments to facilitate the community for issuance of visas.

Speaking with The News, a diplomat at the Pakistan consulate in Dubai stated, "The mission is pleased to have issued visit visas to the Bohra Community members for Pakistan on very short notice."

Pakistan Ambassador to United Arab Emirates (UAE) Moazzam Ahmad Khan informed The News that the government of Pakistan has given special permission to missions in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to issue visas to the Bohra Community.

‘’I am very grateful to our consular staff who worked extra hours just to facilitate in issuing visas urgently to the Bohra community,’’ the ambassador further added. He also expressed his satisfaction over Pakistan’s international image regarding peace had been improving.  The community is scheduled to organise the Muharram Majalis in Karachi after a long span of 19 years.

The Press Section of Pakistan's mission in Dubai said that the mission had received instructions from the government of Pakistan to issue 2,000 visas to Indians and other nationalities of Bohra, who wish to participate in the Majalis.

"In view of these instructions, the mission facilitated them at a very short notice in constant coordination with office bearers of Bohra community in UAE," the diplomat told The News. It is stated that the Pakistan Embassy in Abu Dhabi had issued more than 450 visas while around 1550 visas to Bohra community from Pakistan consulate, Dubai.

The leaders of the Dawoodi Bohra Community thanked the efforts of Pakistan's diplomats, specially ambassador and consul general, for making it possible to pay visit to Karachi to observe their religious rituals in formerly terror-stricken city.

Not only Bohra Shia community contacted with Pakistan’s missions in UAE but the authorities of Pakistan International Airlines based in Dubai for traveling to Karachi. PIA Manager for UAE, Middle East, CIS and Africa Syed Ishaq Hussain proudly said that the community has appreciated the Pakistan’s current peaceful environment.  “It is Pakistan’s great achievement as the community preferred Pakistan in choosing the venue to observe the Muharram rituals in Karachi,’’ he added further.

While appreciating the confidence of the Bohra community on Pakistan and its law enforcement agencies, Syed Ishaq Hussain said that it was turning point for Pakistan as the image of Karachi is coming out as a non-violent and peaceful city. More than 40,000 of Bohra community from over 40 countries are attending the Ashra Muharram this year in Karachi.

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