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September 12, 2019

CM lauds LEAs for foolproof security arrangements for Ashura processions


September 12, 2019

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has thanked the law enforcement agencies, Pakistan Army, intelligence agencies, district administration, local bodies and civic agencies for making well-coordinated efforts which ensured that the Ashura event was held peacefully without any problem.

This he said on Tuesday while talking to media in different cities of the province which he visited to witness security and other arrangements on Ashura. He took a whirlwind tour of three divisions, Karachi, Hyderabad and Shaheed Benazirabad, and witnessed security and other arrangements made for Ashura and met with the management of the Muharram procession and mourners.

The chief minister started his morning by leading the main processions of mourners from New Preedy Street up to the Imambargah in Saddar. Talking to media, he said that he had visited the route and found all the arrangements were perfect. “The security is foolproof and the local bodies and civic agencies have made all the necessary arrangements by repairing roads, improving drainage system and providing water along the route of the procession,” he said.

Shah accompanied by provincial minister Saeed Ghani and Ikram Dharejo through his Lear Jet flew to Sukkur where he was received by provincial ministers Syed Nasir Shah and Awais Shah. He visited the route of the procession and also witnessed other arrangements. At A-Section police station, the chief minister was given a detailed briefing by the SSP and the district administration.

He was told that Sukkur had 74 Imambargahs, of them nine were most sensitive where extraordinary security arrangements had been made. In the city, 1,288 Majalis and 145 processions were held.

Shah was told that on the day of Ashura 44 processions were taken out, of them three were largely attended. They include the processions of Muharram 8th at Rohri, the Sukkur City and Pano Aqil.

The DIG told the chief minister that the processions of Jacobabad and Shikarpur were also sensitive but good security arrangements had been made there also. Talking to media, the chief minister said that all the agencies concerned, the law enforcement agencies, the civic agencies, the local bodies and the hospitals had worked together in close coordination; therefore, there was no complaint of any shortcoming.

To a question, Shah refuted the impression of formation of a forward bloc in the assembly. He said that it was baseless propaganda. Replying to a question about PPP MPA Dahri’s press conference, he said he had not threatened to part ways with the PPP but had pointed out issues. “We are committed to resolving public problems on a priority basis,” he said and added the PPP was strong enough under the leadership of Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Asif Ali Zaradri.

To another question, the chief minister said that under the new police law Public Safety Commission would be constituted within a week so that public complaints could be heard and redressed.

The chief minister after visiting Sukkur flew to Shaheed Benazirabad and received a briefing at VIP Lounge of the airport on the arrangements for processions. After taking an aerial view of the procession by helicopter, he flew to Hyderabad and landed at Public School, Latifabad. He visited met with mourners in Dadan Shah Mohalla and talked to media.

He said that the incident of Karbala taught us a great lesson of sacrifice for the greatest cause. “We are mourning today against justice, cruelty, highhandedness and inhumanity,” he said and added that we have to adopt the principles of justice for all and respect for everyone.

Shah said Imam Hussain was alive despite being martyred while Yazid was dead. “This tragedy teaches us the lesson that when you embrace Shahadat while fighting for justice you will remain alive in the annals of history,” he said and added that our religion says Shuhada are alive.

He said he had witnessed the arrangements for Ashura and they were the best. The chief minister, after concluding his visit to Hyderabad, returned to Karachi by helicopter and took an aerial view of the procession. He landed at the Commerce College and went to the CPO where he was received by Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah and IGP Dr Kaleem Imam. The chief was given a guard of honour at the CPO.

The chief minister visited the Command &Control Centre at the CPO and was briefed by IGP Dr Kaleem Imam. He again lauded the hard work of the police, Rangers, Pakistan Army and intelligence agencies for foolproof security.

Ashura observed

Ashura, 10th Muharram, observed Tuesday in Karachi amid tight security to commemorate the sacrifices made by Imam Hussain (RA) and his 72 companions at Karbala. Apart from thousands of mourners, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and other government and political personalities also participated in the Ashura procession.

The main procession of the 10th Muharramul Haram proceeded from Nishtar Park and culminated peacefully at Hussainian Iranian Imambargah in Kharadar amid tight security while passing through the designated routes.

Extraordinary security arraignments had been made for the day by the police and the paramilitary force. Snipers had been positioned on rooftops, and several lanes leading to MA Jinnah Road were sealed with shipping containers to avoid any untoward incident.

The authorities also imposed a ban on motorcycle pillion riding while mobile phone services were partially suspended as part of security arrangements. Sindh Inspector General of Police Dr Kaleem Imam and Additional IG Karachi Ghulam Nabi Memon appreciated the efforts of police officials and personnel for successfully maintaining law and order during Muharram, particularly during 8th, 9th and 10th Muharram processions in Karachi. The top police officials also appreciated the Rangers for their successful security plan and coordinated work with different law enforcement agencies.

In order to monitor the Ashura procession, the police also used drones and closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, and security was also being checked through 2,200 CCTV cameras around the city from Sindh police’s command and control centre.

Apart from the thousands of mourners, Governor Imran Ismail, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and various other politicians such as Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s Amir Khan and Pakistan Sarzameen Party’s Mustafa Kamal joined the participants to pay tribute to the martyrs of Karbala.

Earlier, the CM, Minister for Labour Saeed Ghani, chief secretary Sindh Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah and home secretary Sindh Kabir Kazi visited the command and control centre and reviewed the security monitoring of different locations of Karachi. DIG Information Technology Fida Hussain Mastoi briefed them about security monitoring, saying that apart from 2,200 CCTV cameras installed across the city, some 335 CCTV cameras were especially installed to monitor the main procession while for the first time security was being monitored through drone cameras.

AIG Operations Sindh Faisal Abdullah said that there were 1,555 processions and 1,470 Majalis on Ashura across the province with 39,007 police officials and personnel deployed for the security purpose.

The main procession route had already been sealed in Karachi by the relevant authorities from the night of Muharram 7 while keeping the security threats in view. Medical camps, Sabeels and stalls were arranged to provide assistance to the participants.

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, snap-checking and patrolling around the Imambargahs, mosques and processions as well as for Majalis had been increased by 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 were 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.