KARACHI/LAHORE: Amid tight security measures, mourning processions of 9th Muharram are being taken out in different cities to pay homage to the martyrs of Karbala.
As a security measure against probable terrorist attacks on mourners, the cellular networks have been switched off in the select sensitive cities of Pakistan till evening. The services would also remain suspended on Ashura (tomorrow) in most of the cities from dawn to dusk.
According to sources, the main procession of 9th Muharram in Islamabad will be taken out from Imambargah Asna-e-Ashri in Sector G-6. The procession will pass through its traditional route and culminate after Maghrib prayers.
In Lahore, the main procession commenced from Pando Street Islampura and, after passing through its traditional route, will return to end at the start point.
In Karachi the main procession was taken out from Nishtar Park. It will culminate at Hussainia Iranian Imam Bargak, Kharadar after passing through Numaish Chowrangi, M.A Jinnah Road, Empress Market and Light House.
In Rawalpindi, the mourning procession emerged from Imambargah Chittiyan Hattiyan and will culminate late night.
In Peshawar, a procession will emerge from Sadar area, and will culminate at the in the same area.
Strict measures have been taken to ensure security to Muharram processions in Karachi and other cities of Sindh.
Imposing two-day ban on motorbike pillion-riding in Sindh and blocking cellular phone services in various cities, the government has deployed thousands of personnel of police and Rangers, with army deployment in sensitive areas.
Law enforcing agencies have been put on high alert to deal with any eventuality.
Aerial surveillance of Muharram processions is being conducted to keep an eye on anti-state elements and terrorists.
In Karachi, all link roads connecting to city’s main M.A Jinnah Road have been sealed with containers, with snipers deployed on roof tops along procession routes that were checked by Bomb Disposal Unit through sniffer dogs and detectors.
Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras have also been installed to closely monitor activities on the procession routes.
Command and Control Centers have been established in different cities for monitoring.
Besides Pak Army, the personnel of Frontier Corps (FC), Frontier Constabulary, Elite Police Forces and Quick Response Forces have also been deployed in Punjab and KPK.