The central procession of 9th Muharram in Karachi commenced from the Nishtar Park and culminated at the Hussainian Iranian Imambargah in Kharadar after passing through its traditional route, as the clerics and other participants paid homage to Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and his companions.
The procession started from the Nishtar Park after noted scholar Allama Shahenshah Hussain Naqvi highlighted the great sacrifices of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and his companions in a Majlis-e-Aza that was attended by a large number of mourners.
Addressing the participants of the procession, Allama Naqvi shed light over the incident of Karbala, admiring the great sacrifices rendered by Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and other members of the Ahle Bait (RA) for the cause of Islam. During the procession, the participants offered Namaz-e-Zohrain at the Imambargah Ali Raza on MA Jinnah Road. The Sindh Home Department has ordered a complete ban on pillion riding under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code from 8th to 10th Muharram, with partial suspension of mobile services.
The Karachi police had already issued a security and traffic management plan for the procession of 9th Muharram. According to the plan, the procession issued from the Martin Road Imambargah in Liaquatabad and then arrived at the Nishtar Park, where a Majlis was held.
Later, the procession left the Nishtar Park for the Hussainian Iranian Imambargah in Kharadar, passing through the traditional routes of Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto Road, Mehfil-e-Shah-e-Khurasan, MA Jinnah Road (Point A), Mansfield Street, Preedy Street, Tibet Chowk, MA Jinnah Road (Point B), Boulton Market, Bombay Bazaar, Kharadar and Nawaz Mahabat Khanji Road. The procession will follow the same route on 10th Muharram.
According to a press release, as soon as the procession issued from the Nishtar Park, all vehicular traffic coming from the city side was diverted towards Soldier Bazaar Road (Bahadur Yar Jang Road), Pakistan Coast Guards headquarters and Anklesaria Chowk to Jubilee or Nishtar Road.
Stringent security measures had been taken on the route of the procession, with heavy contingents of police and Rangers officials deployed for the protection of the mourners.
According to the Karachi police, 5,047 of their officials have been deployed to provide security to the mourners during Majalis and processions being held across the city. Eighty senior officers of the Karachi police, 822 non-gazetted officers, 4,222 constables, 123 policewomen, 65 Special Branch officials, 190 Special Security Unit commandos and 200 Rapid Response Force officials are overseeing the security duties and are stationed along the routes of the processions and at the venues of the congregations.
Moreover, over 1,000 officials of the traffic police have also been deployed to control the vehicular traffic situation in the surroundings of the central processions as well as on the alternative routes.
According to the spokesperson for Security & Emergency Services Division DIG Maqsood Ahmed, on the directives of Karachi police chief Additional IGP Imran Yaqoob Minhas and DIG Ahmed, 700 Security Division police officials are performing security duties during the mourning processions and Majalis during Muharram.
According to the security plan, over 700 Security Division police officials, including 500 Special Security Unit commandos, along with female commandos, have been deployed in sensitive areas and along the traditional route of the mourning processions. Moreover, 190 commandos have been deployed for the security of the main mourning procession.
Apart from this, sharpshooters have also been stationed on high-rises along the main route of the procession, while the main procession is also being monitored by a specialised command & control bus equipped with modern cameras.
DIG Ahmed said that the advanced and professionally trained Special Weapons & Tactics Team of the Special Security Unit will remain on high alert to deal with any untoward incident.
Over 7,000 shops and markets in Saddar and along the procession route have been sealed in order to avoid any untoward incident. The roads linking to the procession route and Majalis venues have also been closed.
Earlier, 282 processions issued from different parts of the city that amalgamated in the central procession in the Numaish Chowrangi area. The route of the procession had been plugged with containers, and the shops had been sealed after a thorough inspection by the Bomb Disposal Squad.
At the entry points that were set up for the participants of the procession, every mourner was properly frisked and checked by metal detectors before allowing them to join the procession.