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September 10, 2019

Ulema ask people to manifest Islam in behaviour as 9th Muharram procession ends peacefully


September 10, 2019

Ulema on Monday called upon the people to exhibit the teachings of Islam in their behaviour, not just in their appearance, as they commemorated on 9th Muharram the sacrifices rendered by Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and his companions at the battlefield of Karbala.

The central procession for 9th Muharram was held peacefully amid tight security, which started at Nishtar Park and passed through Gurumandir, New MA Jinnah Peoples Roundabout, New MA Jinnah Road, Saddar Dawakhana, Empress Market, Regal Chowk, Tibet Centre and Plastic Market to end at the Hussainian Iraninan Imambargah. It was led by Allama Safdar Zaidi and Sarwar Zaidi.

Mobile phone services were partially suspended as a security measure with a heavy deployment of personnel of the law enforcement agencies, including the Rangers and the police. A Majlis was held at the Nishter Park before the procession started. The mourners offered Zuhrain prayers outside Mazar-e-Quaid.

The provincial government of Sindh had already declared public holidays on Monday and Tuesday (today) while pillion riding was also banned for three days from 8th Muharram to 10th Muharram.

It was since morning that people in small to medium groups started converging at the Nishter Park to attend the Majlis and join the main procession that started moving as per its schedule at 11am in an organised manner with scouts representing different organisations.

All the high-rise buildings located along the route of the main Muharram procession were being manned by cops, including snipers on the rooftops to avert any untoward incident.

According to the Karachi police, a large number of people attended an estimated 623 Majalis and meetings held in different parts of the metropolis during Muharram 9 with a total security of 5,064 officials and personnel of the Karachi police.

A total of 1,927 police force was also deployed on the sensitive locations. The main procession route was already sealed by the relevant authorities from the night of Muharram 7 while keeping the security threats in view to facilitate the mourners. Medical camps, Sabeels and stalls were also arranged to provide assistance to the participants.

Apart from the aerial surveillance to monitor the procession, sniffer dogs were also used to check the possibility of any explosive material along the route of the processions. The central procession was also monitored through CCTV cameras.

Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Syed Kaleem Imam had said he would himself monitor the central processions. He had also directed the police to ensure the immediate implementation of the instructions issued from the Command and Control Centre.

The IGP also directed the SSPs, DSPs and SHOs to ensure their presence within their jurisdictions and update him about the state of processions and Majalis. He said there was a zero tolerance policy regarding any negligence in the contingency plan and maintained that the Sindh police would remain alert until next orders.

According to the contingency plan chalked out by the Sindh police, 71,485 personnel were deployed across Sindh during Muharramul Haram and the police force was equipped with 31 armed vehicles, 1,824 vans and 1,938 motorcycles.

According to a spokesperson for the Rangers, the snap-checking and patrolling around the Imambargahs, mosques and processions as well as Majalis had been increased by the Rangers troops. The spokesperson added that a heavy contingent of Rangers was providing security to the processions in Karachi and other parts of Sindh.

The spokesperson said about 5,500 Rangers soldiers had been deployed in Karachi while 5,000 are deployed in other areas of Sindh.

The Karachi traffic police had already devised an alternative traffic plan during mourning processions of 8th, 9th and 10th Muharramul Haram. Twenty roads around the route of the central procession could be used by the commuters trying to reach various areas of the city.

PPP leaders

Pakistan Peoples Party leaders Saeed Ghani, Shehla Raza and Waqar Mehdi also participated in the procession. Talking to the media, Ghani said the procession was being carried out to pay tribute to the sacrifices of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and his companions. He also lauded the security arrangements made by the LEAs, including the Rangers and police.

MWM protest

A protest was also staged by the Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen against the missing persons of the Shia community. Addressing the participants, MWM central leader Allama Ahmed Iqbal said they were expressing solidarity with the families of the missing persons. He demanded an immediate release of the missing persons and said the government had always promised to play its role in the release of the missing persons but it never kept those promises.