In a statement, the minister issued directives to law enforcers to remain on high alert during the next few days. He said that 12 helicopters had also been stationed at various areas to extend air support throughout the country, whereas cellular services may also be suspended for limited timings only at selective sensitive locations on the 9th and 10th of Muharram.
He further stated that all Muharram-related activities were being monitored from the control room of the ministry round the clock and “we are in continuous contact with the provinces to ensure maximum protection for the security of mourners and the general public”.
Meanwhile, sources said that the Interior Ministry had decided to suspend mobile phone services in all major cities on the 8th, 9th and 10th of Muharram. Contingents of the Pakistan Army, Rangers and FC personnel would be deployed for security purposes in all major cities, including Karachi.
In Rawalpindi alone, as many as 177 mourning processions will be taken out from different localities of Rawalpindi on 8th, 9th and 10th Muharram-ul-Haram. Two control rooms, one at 111-Brigade and second at Commissioner’s Office have been established where concerned officers would monitor Muharram processions.
In Karachi, thousands of security forces are deployed across the southern port city to beef up security as its Shia population is preparing for commemorating Ashura, the tenth day of the lunar month of Muharram.
Imam Hussein (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and 72 of his loyal companions, were martyred on Ashura in the battle of Karbala against the second Umayyad caliph, Yazid I, in 680 A.D. Imam Hussein was killed after he refused to pledge allegiance to the tyrant ruler.
The mourning services have been in place worldwide since the beginning of Muharram.
The annual Muharram ceremonies, which have been performed for many centuries, symbolize the eternal and unwavering stance of truth against falsehood and humanity’s struggle against injustice, tyranny and oppression; the cause for which Imam Hussein (AS) was martyred.
(Source: Daily Times)