Army’s Help Sought for Muharram Security

The federal government has directed provincial governments to make adequate security measures to prevent any untoward incident during Muharram.

Both federal and provincial governments have also sought army’s assistance to maintain law and order. On the other hand, the interior ministry has yet to make a security plan for the federal capital.

Pakistan Army
Army’s help sought for Muharram security

“Several meetings on security have been held by the ministry and the local administration but no security plan has been finalised for Islamabad so far,” a police official said. It has been observed that policemen have not been deployed at Imambargahs, mosques and other sensitive places in Islamabad. Meanwhile, the Punjab government has sought deployment of 14 companies of the army, each comprising 150 personnel, in Rawalpindi, according to the provincial information department.

According to Punjab IGP Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhera, 135,098 personnel will guard 37,888 Majalis and 9,997 mourning processions in 10 major cities of the province. Over 800 places in the province have been declared sensitive and 288 most sensitive.

The Sindh government has requested for the deployment of 900 troops in the province to ensure security during the month. According to the Baloch­istan government’s security plan, 10,000 personnel of FC and police with 5,000 volunteers will guard Majalis and mourning processions. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has banned pillion riding from Muharram 1 to 10. Our Staff Correspondent adds from Quetta: Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Quetta Police Chief Abdul Razzaq Cheema said personnel of police and other law-enforcement agencies had been deployed at 71 checkpoints in and around the city. He said 600 police personnel had been posted in and around 56 Imambargahs. “We have increased security of nine very sensitive Imambargahs.” Mr Cheema said 14 CCTV cameras had been installed on the routes of mourning procession. He said additional police contingents had been called in from other parts of the province for security duties from 7th to 10th Muharram.

He said more checkposts had been set up in and around Hazara town and other sensitive places in Quetta. He said army helicopters would monitor the main Ashura procession. Pillion-riding would be banned from 7th to 10th Muharram and provincial home department had been asked to get mobile phone service suspended on 10th Muharram, he said.

Mr Cheema said that display of arms had been banned during the month and even security personnel on duty with ministers and other personalities would not display weapons. “A control room has been set up in the office of the CCPO from where police, Frontier Corps and army officials would monitor the situation round the clock.” Mr Cheema said Inspector General of Police Moham­mad Amlish and CCPO had meetings with ulema, social workers, public representatives and civil society to seek their cooperation for ensuring peace during Muharram. -dawn