RAWALPINDI: Like the rest of the country, Youm-e-Ali was observed with great zeal and fervour in Rawalpindi.
The central procession commemorating Hazrat Ali (RA)’s martyrdom started from the house of Mubarak Bano in Mohanpura and completed its designated route, concluded at Imambargah Colonel Maqbool Hussain around Fajir prayers.
Rawalpindi police had deployed 2,000 personnel for the security of the central procession in Rawalpindi.
Strict security arrangements were in place for the mourners. Besides, policemen, women police and volunteers were deployed on the routes apart from sharpshooters who were keeping watch on the processions from the roofs of important buildings.
As per directives of the district administration all vehicles were parked 100 meters away from the routes of processions.
Rescue-1122 along with other departments was on high-alert in case of any emergency situation.
The markets and buildings on procession routes were barricaded with barbed wires.
The surrounding areas of procession route were sealed also.
However, a security-nightmare emerged when power went off, putting the administration and law enforcers on alert.
Electricity remained suspended for two hours on the main procession route.
The mourners in Rawalpindi took out 24 processions which joined the main, which went through its traditional route touching various points at Kashmiri Market, Fawwara Chowk, Trunk Market, Bohar Bazaar Chowk and reached Imambargah Col Maqbool Hussain peacefully.
Regional Police Officer Capt (retd) Ahsan Tufail, CPO Faisal Rana and Deputy Commissioner Chaudhry Ali Randhawa were supervising the security arrangements.
Call for unity of Ummah
Patron-in-chief of the Supreme Shia Ulema Board and Tehrik-e-Nafaz-e-Fiqah-e-Jafaria President Agha Syed Hamid Ali Shah Moosavi called for unity of Islamic Ummah over and above ethnic divide.
Speaking to the media in the procession, Moosvi rejected the idea of developing a calendar for Islamic dates for Ramazan, Eids and Ashura. He said: “we don’t accept the scientific calendar, the procedure Islam told us is our procedure.”
Regarding the spike in terrorism, Moosvi was of the view that if the National Action Plan had been implemented, terrorism would have been eradicated.
He said terrorism had spawned from militancy. Had Pakistan not meddled in Afghanistan, it would not have been a victim of terrorism.
Expressing reverence, he said Hazrat Ali commanded the Islamic army from the Battle of Uhad to Battle of Khyber. Hazrat Ali (RA) had opened eyes in arms of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
On relations with Iran he said it was the first neighbouring country to accept Pakistan in 1947, when Afghanistan and India were rejecting it.
Quaid-i-Azam had termed Iran the best friend of Pakistan.
Regarding the state of Muslims in present era, Moosvi said if Muslim trust in Allah, they will be victorious. And for trust in Allah they would have to give up trust in all other beings.
He took exception of Muslim rulers and told them not hide behind Islam and not to use religion as a shield for their stay in power, instead, like Ahle Bait, become a shield for Harmain and Islam.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th, 2019.