Enhanced security approved for Ashura

Helicopters will be used for aerial surveillance of mourning processions

Qaiser Shirazi June 25, 2024
Mourners to participate in the central procession taken out in Muharram 9 while a heavy contingent of LEAs will stand guard. PHOTOS: PPI/APP/EXPRESS


The divisional administration has approved a comprehensive security plan to ensure the safety of the Ashura and 7th Muharram mourning processions. The plan includes the installation of special night vision closed-circuit cameras along the procession routes for real-time monitoring and the deployment of drones to provide aerial support for foolproof security.

Under the plan, the Ashura Muharram mourning procession will be held with tight security, including army troops on high alert and Rangers deployed alongside police personnel. To ensure public safety, internet and mobile services will be suspended from 7am to 12pm, and parking of vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles will be prohibited along all procession routes. Entry to the procession will only be allowed through designated walk-through gates and main entry points, with no participation permitted from side streets.

In Rawalpindi, the private sector will install 350 closed-circuit cameras, night vision cameras, and walk-through gates, which will be rented to them. A control room with big screens will be set up to monitor the installed cameras.

Night vision cameras will monitor the processions from sunset until the end. On the strict instructions of Commissioner Rawalpindi, the deputy commissioners of Rawalpindi, Attock, Jhelum, and Chakwal have sought proposals from the private sector for night vision cameras, walk-through gates, and control rooms by July 1.

On 7th Muharram, all closed-circuit cameras and control rooms will be activated. Additionally, restrictions will be in place from 1st Muharram to 10th Muharram, including a prohibition on motorcycle and bicycle double riding, encroachment on the procession route, placing building materials on roofs, and placing stones on roofs. Security meetings in all four districts have been scheduled for next week to ensure a secure and peaceful Muharram.

According to the security plan, additional measures will be taken to ensure public safety during the mourning procession. These measures include banning standing on roofs and peeking from balconies along the procession routes.

The route of mosques will remain completely closed and will only open to offer prayers. Azan can only be given on loudspeakers in mosques.

Before the Ashura procession, all routes will be thoroughly searched for ammunition using modern equipment and trained dogs, followed by complete sealing of the routes with barbed wire and trawls.

Moreover, aerial surveillance of the Ashura Muharram procession will be conducted by helicopter.


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