Islamabad/Karachi/Lahore/Peshawar/Quetta:Youm-e-Ashur, the tenth of Moharram-ul-Haram, was observed across the country today with due solemnity to pay homage to the supreme sacrifice rendered by Hazrat Imam Hussain (Razi Allah ho Ta’ala Anho) and his devoted companions in Karbala.
Mourning processions were being taken out in all cities and towns of the country.
The main procession in Islamabad was taken out from Islamabad Qasr-i-Zainabia, a tweet by Islamabad police said.
Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Irfan Nawaz Memon said mobile phone services remain suspended today in the capital. Mobile phone services was also not available today from 10 am to 4pm and from 9 am till 10 pm, the deputy commissioner said.
Meanwhile, it was reported that the security level in Rawalpindi was raised to ‘red alert’ and 6,000 law enforcement personnel were in the district, as well as snipers on rooftops of buildings located along the route of the main procession.
The report said city areas remained under tight security with roads closed for traffic and additional checkpoints and barriers set up.
A police spokesperson said that foolproof security arrangements had been made today as over 1,000 personnel had been deployed to perform traffic duties.
Moreover, the report said pillion riding, display of weapons and use of loudspeakers had banned.
In Rawalpindi, the main Alam and Zuljinah procession was taken out from Imambargah Colonel Maqbool Hussain which culminated at Imambargah Qadeemi while passing through the designated routes.
Besides, different processions emerged from various parts of the city and merged into the main procession.
Main points of Rawalpindi from where processions were taken out include Imam Bargah Teli Mohalla, Imam Bargah Hifazat Ali Shah Bohar Bazar, Imam Bargah Darbar Sakhi Shah Chann Chiragh and Yadgar e Hussain Satelite Town.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made to avoid any untoward incident during the mourning processions.
Over six thousand security officials had been deployed to ensure security.
In Lahore, the main mourning procession was taken out from Nisar Haveli at Mochi Gate, which after passing through its traditional route culminated at Karbala Gaamay Shah this evening, where Shaam-e-Ghareeban was held.
Overall 170 processions and 130 majalis had been arranged in Multan district.
The main procession was taken out from Imam Bargah Heera Haidri in the morning which reached Ghanta Ghar in the evening after passing its traditional route.
In Peshawar, the main Alam, Tazia and Zuljinah procession was taken out from Imam Bargah Agha Syed Ali Shah Qissa Khwani Bazaar this afternoon. Eleven other processions were also taken out from different Imam Bargahs which joined the main procession.
Similar processions of Tazia, Alam and Zuljinah were also taken out in Kohat, Khyber, Bannu, Hangu, Lakki Marwat, Kurram and Dera Ismail Khan districts.
The main procession in Karachi, which was taken out from Nishtar Park at 9:00am, was culminated at Hussainian Iranian Imambargah along MA Jinnah Road.
After passing through its traditional route, the procession concluded at Imam Bargah-e-Hussainan Iraniaan Kharadar in the evening.
Provincial Minister for Information, Sharjeel Inam Memon and Minister for Labour Saeed Ghani visited the central control room, established to monitor the processions.
During the course of this journey, mourners covered Sir Shahnawaz Bhutto Road, Mehfil-i-Shah-i-Khorasan, MA Jinnah Road, Mansfield street, Preedy street and Bolton Market.
Meanwhile, traffic from this route had diverted towards Jubilee Market, Nishtar Road and other areas, the traffic police press release said.
In Karachi and other major cities of Sindh, more than 55,000 police and Rangers personnel had been deployed for the security of mourning processions and mobile phone and internet services are to remain suspended under a comprehensive security plan for Ashura.
Among them, 12,000 policemen have been deployed in Karachi, where a total of 5,056 majalis and 5,520 processions are being taken out, according to a Dawn report. Around 7,000 policemen in addition to 4,960 Rangers personnel have been deployed to guard the main Ashura procession in the city, the report said.
Earlier, South DIG Sharjil Kharal informedthe Pakistan Army remained on standby in case of any emergency in the city.
The Sindh government last week imposed a ban on pillion riding and the use of helicams or drones for video recording by media channels during processions and majalis from Muharram 8 (Aug 7) to 10 (Aug 9).
In Quetta, the main mourning procession of Alam, Tazia and Zuljanah was taken out from Nichari Imambargah at Alamdar Road this morning, which ended at the same place in the evening after passing through its traditional routes.
In Gilgit, Ashura procession was brought out from Markazi Imamia Masjid this morning which were concluded at same place in the evening.
In Muzaffarabad, the main Taazia, Alam and Zuljinnah procession was taken out from Markazi Imam Bargah Pir EIam Shah Bukhari.
Elaborated Security measures had been put in place across the country to ensure secure and smooth movement of processions and holding of Majalis.