ISLAMABAD: ‘Youm-e-Ashur’, the martyrdom day of Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS), his family and devoted companions will be commemorated across the country today (Tuesday)
The day will be commemorated with the pledge to pay homage to the supreme sacrifice rendered by the grandson of the last Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) at Karbala (Iraq). Muharram is the month of mourning for the seventh-century martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS).
The mourning processions would be taken out in all the cities and towns of the country. Muslims would perform mourning rituals to mark the Ashura, the holiest festival in their calendar in many places across the country. Strict security measures have been ensured by the local managements of different cities and some road closures were also in place to avoid any untoward incident.
Law enforcers, including police, Rangers, FC and others have been deployed along the procession routes. The azadars (mourners) would pay glowing tributes to sacrifices offered by Hussain (AS) and his companions for the supremacy of Islam.
Ulema and Zakireen would highlight the bright and candid teachings of Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS) and various aspects of Karbala tragedy. Medical camps, Sabeels and stalls are also being arranged to provide assistance to the participants.
Mobile phone services have partially been suspended as a security measure in different cities. In Islamabad, over 613 policemen including one SP, 04 DSPs, and 22 Inspectors would be deployed at various routes of processions to avoid inconvenience to road users.
Nearly, 965 Majalis and 181 mourning processions would be taken out from Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). As part of the security arrangements, the administration has blocked the routes by erecting containers and other obstacles including barbed wire in the procession routes and the central areas have been sealed from all sides, visitors were being allowed to enter after passing through the walk-through gate.
Arrangements have been finalised in Rawalpindi to provide security cover to mourners. Three layer security cover would be provided to the main procession besides deploying Quick Response Force (QRF).
Over 6,000 cops, 2,000 volunteers would guard 447 mourning processions, 1925 Majalis from 6th to 10th Muharram. Six main processions of Zuljinnah, Alam and Tazia would be taken out on Ashura from different areas of the garrison city.
All the processions would be culminated at Imambargah Qadimi at 10:00pm. Nearly 1,000 traffic police personnel would be deployed at various points of the routes of the processions on the Ashura day.
Over 2,500 security personnel would be deployed to guard the main procession while 3,500 cops would provide security cover to other processions and Majalis across the district. In Lahore, the Shia believers are fully prepared to keep up the traditional religious devotion on Ashura in line with the solemnity and zeal associated with the occasion.
The mourning activities reached their peak on Monday, 9th Muharram, as various Zuljinah, Alam and Tazia processions were taken out from different parts of the provincial metropolis. Prominent among them was that taken out from Islampura in Pando Street in the morning and culminated at the same place in the night. Other prominent processions were taken out from Zafar Colony, Wasanpura, Shadman, Green Town, Mughalpura, Saddar Bazar and Ferozepur Road. These processions marched through traditional routes before culminating at the appointed places peacefully.
The central Zuljinah procession of Ashura emerged from Nisar Haveli inside Mochi Gate late Monday night amid strict security arrangements, and began its day-long journey through its traditional route. Accompanied by hundreds of mourners the procession will culminate at Karbala Gamay Shah near Data Darbar after Tuesday evening.
The procession will move through its route and pass from Mohallah Chehel Bibian, Imambargah Syed Wajid Ali Shah, Lakkar Mandi, Imambargah Mehdi Shah, Mobarak Haveli, Chowk Nawab Sahab, Kucha Qazi Khan, Imambargah Molvi Feroze Ali, Kucha Miskinan, Mohallah Pir Gilanian, Imambargah Rajab Ali Shah, Chohata Mufti Baqar, Chowk Purani Kotwali, Kashmiri Bazar, Sunehri Masjid, Dabbi Bazar, Suha Bazar, Gumti Bazar, Said Mitha Bazar, Tehsil Bazar, Bazar Hakimaan, Ounchi Masjid and Bhaati Chowk.
Before the start of the procession a Majlis-e-Aza was held in which masaaibs were narrated by renowned Zakireen. The majlis was preceded by recitations by various Noha Khwans who paid verse tributes to the martyrs of Karbala. Large number of chest beating and noha reciting mourners participated in the majlis who later joined the procession and also observed Matam (flagellation) with chained knives at several points on the route. A large number of Sabeels of juices, milk and water were set up mostly by Sunnis along the route to facilitate the mourners. Besides, a number of banners calling for Shia-Sunni unity were placed by different political and social workers and other office bearers of district government.
All markets and businesses were closed on the occasion of Ashura while press issued special supplements and electronic media aired special programs to mark the significance of the event. The Lahore administration have made extra security measures in view of the ongoing wave of terrorism and the threats posed by neighboring countries, which figured prominently in the warnings issued to the government by the intelligence agencies fearing possible terrorists’ strike at the Muharram gatherings.
Besides suspending mobile phone service in sensitive areas, the police, rangers and army jawans kept patrolling different areas while special forces’ personnel and snipers have taken positions on the rooftops of the buildings along the route to keep an eye on miscreants.
In addition to that, army helicopters also kept monitoring of the procession along their routes. The route of the procession has been closed for the general public and pedestrians, while law enforcing agencies personnel blocked the roads entering to the main route of the procession. Local residents entering into the route to reach their houses and shops are being thoroughly searched.
Special security gates and scanners have been placed at the entrances of Imambargahs for searching the participants. The residents of the buildings along the route have been barred from opening their windows and coming to roofs but women and children have been allowed to watch the procession from windows.
The town administrations of Data Town has put up extra lights along the route to brighten the area to facilitate the security personnel in maintaining law and order specially in the night time. Town nazims and other office bearers also kept inspecting the situation at different points of the route to ensure peace.
After the culmination of the procession, a Majlis-e-Sham-e-Ghariban will be held inside Karbala Gamay Shah in which noted Zakireen will highlight the importance of the sacrifice by Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and his companions.
Ambulances by city district government and various other relief organisations were there for transporting the wounded to the hospitals while the volunteers will provide first aid to the mourners during and after the mourning.