All steps should be taken, including the deployment of additional policemen, to protect Muharram majalis and processions, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Saturday.
He was presiding over a meeting to review security arrangements for Muharram.
The chief minister directed the Cabinet Committee on Law and Order to review security plans and arrangements throughout the province and implement the relevant code of conduct.
“The country is passing through a critical juncture of its history. It faces the menace of terrorism and extremism. Nothing can be more important than the establishment of law and order,” he said.
Shahbaz said that maintenance of law and order was the top priority of the government. “Better security arrangements have been made than previous years for the protection of life and property of the people,” he said.
The chief minister said that complete implementation of the security plan evolved for the protection of majalis and processions should be ensured. “Additional police force should be deployed at mosques, imam bargahs and other worship places,” he said.
He said that the ban on hate material should be fully implemented and action should be taken against violators. “The ban on displaying firearms, wall chalking and delivering provocative speeches should also be banned,” he said.
He said that routes of processions should be monitored. “Senior police officers should remain with the processions,” he said.
The chief minister said that proper arrangements should be made for providing meals to policemen performing Muharram duty. He said that law enforcement agencies should send reports about the movement of the mourning processions to central control room.
He said that provincial ministers and elected representatives should visit districts assigned to them and review security arrangements. “Security arrangements should be continuously monitored. Members of peace committees at provincial, divisional, district and tehsil level should perform their duties efficiently. Ulema should teach the lesson of brotherhood, mutual harmony and tolerance in their sermons,” he said.
The home secretary briefed the CM about the Muharram security plan. Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, government spokesman Zaeem Hussain Qadri, Rana Maqbool Ahmad were also present.
Separately, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Saturday chaired a meeting to review progress on different developmental projects at PM House, Raiwind.
Shahbaz Sharif briefed the PM about clean drinking water, education, health and infrastructure projects.
The prime minister said that there should be equal focus on rural and urban areas of the province so that people get equal opportunities and benefits from the projects.
Expressing satisfaction over the progress on all the projects, the PM said that the provincial government should undertake work on small, medium and long-term projects simultaneously. Khawaja Saad Rafique, Ahsan Iqbal, Rana Sanaullah and Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman were present.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 18th, 2015.