President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday emphasised the importance of the martyrdom of Hussain (RA) at Karbala in separate messages to the nation on the occasion of Ashura, Radio Pakistan reported.
Ashura reminds us of the great sacrifices rendered by the martyrs of Karbala to uphold the supremacy and truth of Islam, Alvi said. The martyrdom of Imam Hussain (RA) teaches Muslims to fight oppression and tyranny, he said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said Karbala presented a lesson on rendering sacrifices for achieving greater objectives. He termed the event a battle between truth and falsehood which continues till date. The prime minister termed the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (RA) a fine example of steadfastness.
Ashura is being observed nationwide with due solemnity. Alam, Zuljinah and Tazia processions are being taken out in cities and towns across the country on this account. Cellular services have been suspended in Karachi, Peshawar and other major cities to prevent any untoward event from happening.
In Lahore, the main Ashura procession left Nisar Haveli around midnight on Thursday. It will conclude at Karbala Gamay Shah later today. Thousands of policemen have been deployed and CCTV cameras installed to monitor proceedings.
In Rawalpindi, the chief procession will commence from Colonel Maqbool Imambargah and conclude at Qadeemi Imambargah.
The main Ashura procession in Karachi will embark from Nishtar Park in Soldier Bazaar area before concluding at Imambargah Hussania Irania in Kharadar.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah expressed satisfaction over security arrangements for the main Ashura procession in Karachi. He was speaking to reporters before departing for Sukkur. He said he would also proceed to Jacobabad and Rohri.
Across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the main Alam and Zuljinnah processions will be taken out from Imambargah Alamdar-e Karbala in Peshawar’s Qissa Khwani Bazaar. Processions are also being organised in Kohat, Bannu, Hangu, Lakki Marwat, Parachinar and Dera Ismail Khan.
The chief Quetta procession was taken out from Rehmatullah Chowk on Alamdar Road.
Quetta DIG Abdul Razzaq Cheema told reporters over 5,000 policemen had been deployed and all procession routes sealed. He said exceptional security arrangements have been made in collaboration with district management and Frontier Corps.
Balochistan Shia Conference’s President Dawood Agha said there are 30 mourning processions in the city and thanked security officials and the community for their cooperation.
In Gilgit, the main Ashura procession commenced from Masjid Jamia Imamia at 8am. It will return to the mosque by 4:30pm.
In pictures: Ashura worldwide