9th Muharram being observed in Pakistan today amid tight security

PESHAWAR: Mobile phone service will be shut down across the province including Peshawar for 2 days to ensure full-fledged security to 9th and 10th Muharram Ul Haram processions.

Security arrangements have been made for Muharram processions and section 144 has also been enforced by the district administrations. In Peshawar, the main procession was taken out from Hussainiya Imam Bargah which passed different routes of Peshawar Saddar including Fakhar Alam road, Kali Bari, Saddar road.

Inspector General of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Police Mohammad Naeem Khan said in a press conference that Central Monitoring Team has been formed that will visit various districts during Ashura to ensure security. He said the team would “ensure the implementation of a strategic and approved security plan for Muharram. IGP said that a total of 50,000 security personnel will be deployed for security during Muharram across the province.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said mobile phone services would remain suspended on the 9th and 10th of Muharram for security reasons in specified areas of all the cities across the country. PTA did not confirm exact timings, the cellular services — particularly in areas through which processions pass — are expected to remain suspended from morning till 6 pm on both days. However, IGP Naeem Khan said that the police department will try to minimize the suspension of mobile service so that citizens do not suffer.

In Peshawar, 10,000 police personnel are deployed and all Imam Bargahs in Peshawar, also been declared the most sensitive. Due to security concerns, in some parts of Peshawar, Kohat, Hangu, Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu, Nowshera, Mardan, mobile phone service will be stopped completely or partially for two days.

Provincial capital Peshawar has already been sealed, while some areas will be completely closed today. Sensitive agencies have been alerted. Intelligence agencies have been given powers to police in sensitive districts, including Peshawar, for the procession of the 9th and 10th Muharram-ul-Haram.