“Foolproof” security arrangements have been made nationwide to ensure the peaceful passage of Ashura.
Home Secretary Sindh Qazi Kabeer said on Wednesday cellular services will remain suspended across areas declared sensitive. Traffic plans have also been formulated.
In a statement, Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi emphasised the prime minister’s desires of state institutions securing citizens’ lives and properties. “Ashura is an occasion to pay respect to the martyrs of Karbala. The entire world marks the event in solidarity,” the document read.
In the federal capital, authorities have taken “foolproof measures” to secure the main Muharram 9 procession. Around 3,000 policemen, Pakistan Rangers and Frontier Constabulary men will secure Islamabad’s Sector G-6 on this account. Cellular services will remain suspended across sectors G-6, G-7, G-8, G-9, F-7, F-11, I-10.
Punjab IGP Muhammad Tahir said police will remain on high alert province-wide. He said proceedings will be monitored round-the-clock on Muharram 9 and 10. Tahir said sniffer dogs and bomb disposal squads will be deployed to secure processions. He said personnel will only allow vehicles and motorcycles to be parked at a distance of 100 metres from mosques and imambargahs.
Separately, Edhi Foundation will deploy 50 ambulances in Lahore on the occasion of Ashura. Two hundred Edhi volunteers will also discharge duties.
Rawalpindi CTO Muhammad Bin Ashraf said traffic will be diverted across 48 points. A thoroughfare connecting Committee Chowk to Iqbal Road will remain closed to traffic. The DAV College and Iqbal roads will also remain closed.
Two thousand policemen will secure imambargahs and processions in Sialkot.
In Karachi, the provincial government has taken stringent measures to ensure the peaceful passage of Ashura. Over 7,ooo policemen have been tasked with securing proceedings. Pakistan Rangers men and personnel from other law enforcement agencies have also been deployed.
The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has removed all encroachments on procession routes. Major thoroughfares have been sealed.