25 Nov 2012
Ashura Commemorated Across the Country
Millions of mourners across Pakistan took part in 10th Muharram (Youm-e-Ashura) processions amid threats of suicide bombings and terrorism.
Despite the threat of possible terrorist attacks, Millions of Pakistani Shiite and Sunni Muslims , including women and children, participated in the Ashura congregations and procession in all over the Pakistan to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (as) and his companions in land of Karbala.
However, terrorists managed to hit a mourning procession in Dera Ismail Khan on second consecutive day where ten azadars were martyred and dozens were injured. A terror attack was also reported from Khairpur where one azadar embraced martyrdom as a result of firing by yazidis.Besides the Ashura Jaloos in Hangu came under shelling and mortars attack of yazidi terrorists but Alhamdulillaah no casualty was reported here and the procession culminated in Imambargah Paskalay around Zohrain prayers.
All the processions have been reached at their designated destinations after passing the designated routes under the tight security umbrella of Law enforcement agencies and community volunteers to foil any bid of terrorism.
"The greater the threat, the greater the number of people that participate in the procession,"said Ali Raza, one of the participants in Islamabad procession of Ashura, adding they were not afraid of any terrorists.
"They cannot stop us from observing our rituals. It is our faith. and you can see the flood of Azadars (mourners) in the procession of Ashura"
In Islamabad/Rawalpindi, mourning processions passed through different areas of the garrison city under strict security in backdrop of the November 21 suicide attack on a procession at Rawalpindi that claimed 24 lives. All roads leading to the processions' routes and Imambargahs were sealed with barbed wire, while armed policemen guarded entry points.
All government hospitals in the twin cities remained on high alert to respond to any emergency.
Millions of Azadars took part in processions in Karachi as well, undeterred by looming terrorist threats and the string of recent bomb blasts targeting Imambargahs in Orangi town , Abbas town and Amroha Society neighbourhoods of the megapolis.
"The attacks have made us more thick-skinned. The more the terrorists strike, the more resilient we will be become" said mourner Abbas Ali Shah. Another mourner, present with his wife and children in Karachi procession, said, "We came despite the blast in DI Khan today (Sunday)"
Over 30,000 security personnel, from both police and paramilitary forces, were deployed along the route. The army remained on standby in case of any emergency as well. Both cellular services and PTCL wireless services were blocked in the financial capital. Choppers and CCTV cameras monitored processions in Quetta as well. Meanwhile, all cellular and wireless services were suspended and motorcycles were banned in Quetta and some other parts of Balochistan.
The procession in Lahore culminated without incident as well, amid stringent security measures that included a ban on pillion riding and suspension of cellular services. Around 15,000 police personnel were deployed across the city and Rangers remained on high alert to respond to any untoward incident.
Large processions marched across Peshawar, like the rest of country, amid heightened security. Fearing terrorist attacks, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government declared an emergency at all government hospitals for 9th and 10th Muharram and cancelled leaves for all doctors and staff.