KARACHI: About 22,381 officers, including 389 female police officers, will be deployed in Karachi on Ashura, said Sindh IG Allah Dino Khawaja.
He was briefing Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah regarding the security plan during a meeting at the CM House on Monday. The meeting was attended by adviser to CM on law, Murtaza Wahab, chief secretary Siddique Memon and Karachi AIG Mushtaq Maher among others.
Fool-proof security during Muharram 9 and Muharram 10 must be maintained, ordered Shah.
“We have been holding regular meetings on security during Muharram and have visited the route of the main procession,” he said. “Therefore, there should not be any issue as far as security is concerned.”
Processions in Karachi
About 528 majalis and 279 processions will be held in Karachi today (Muharram 9), informed Khawaja. On Muharram 10, about 403 majalis and 289 processions will be held, he added.
Giving details of the Muharram 9 procession, Khawaja said it will start from Bab-e-Fatima Imambargah at 8am, then through Liaquatabad No 10 will take a U-turn towards Teen Hatti. It will pass through Liaquatabad Dak Khana, Shah-e-Najaf Imam Bargah, Martin Quarters, Jamia Binori, Gurumandir, Bahaduryar Jung Road, Soldier Bazaar and Nishtar Park, where it will merge with the main procession.
The main procession will then leave Nishtar Park at 12pm. It will pass through Empress Market, Regal Chowk, Boulton Market and Plastic Market. The mourners will offer Zuhr prayers at Ali Raza Imambargah on MA Jinnah Road and the procession will culminate at Hussainian Iranian Imambargah in Kharadar.
A similar route will also be taken by the procession on Muharram 10, which will start from Nishtar Park at 10pm and end at Hussainian Iranian Imambargah at 6pm. The mourners will offer Zuhr prayers at Tibet Center at 1:30pm.
AD Khwaja also briefed the CM about the ‘flash points’ of the main procession and also said that extra-ordinary security arrangements have been made there. Around four platoons of reserve force will be deployed at Nishtar Park, Numaish Chowrangi, Capri Cinema, Saddar Dawakhana, Empress Market, Regal Chowk, Tibet Centre, Saeed Manzil, Radio Pakistan, Eidgah Market, Light House, Boulton Market, Kharadar and Hussainian Iranian Imambargah.
The CM said that most people do not follow traditional routes and a wide gap develops between head and tail of the procession, which must be protected. “I suggest that this gap may not be allowed to develop,” he said. He also discussed evacuation plan in case of any untoward incident.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2016.