Muharram to begin in Pakistan with religious fervor

Islamabad, Aug 11, IRNA – Mourning month of Muharram will begin across Pakistan on September 12 while mourners are preparing to observe the month with religious spirit and respect.

Earlier Pakistan moon sighting committee had announced that Muharram will begin from Wednesday, September 12 whereas the Yaum-e-Ashura will be observed on Friday, September 21.

Muharram is the sacred month in which Muslims commemorate the martyrs of Karbala. Mourning congregations and processions are held to pay homage to the Imam Hussain (AS)-led martyrs of Karbala.

Imam Hussain's (AS) uprising in Karbala is regarded as the symbol of resistance against oppressors by Muslims, as the grandson of Islam's Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) with a small troop and his relatives stood up against injustice.

Shias account for 20 percent of the Muslim population in Pakistan and the country is home to the second largest Shia population after Iran. However the Sunni population in Pakistan also observes the month with religious spirit.

Pakistan has been the target of terrorism in the past and the government in the country takes special measures and prepares security plans each year during Muharram to ward off terrorist attacks on mourners and religious gatherings.

Pillion riding has been banned in Islamabad for two months as a security measure for Muharram. In other cities, it will be banned from Muharram 8 to 10.

Earlier Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had directed police and provincial administration to make foolproof security arrangements for Muharram.

“There is no chance of any untoward incident during the holy month of Muharram-ul-Harram as the government is taking strict security measures and implementing code of conduct,” said the chief minister while presiding over a high-level meeting on law and order.

Similar measures have been taken in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, where surveillance is increased around proscribed religious leaders and those considered a threat to religious or sectarian harmony in Muharram.

With the help of its intelligence wings, including the Special Branch, police are checking the presence of proscribed individuals living in Islamabad.

Moreover, security has also increased around the seminaries in the twin cities where a total of 177 mourning processions and 909 gatherings are expected to be held in the first 10 days of Muharram.

Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from Pakistan will also travel to the holy city of Karbala and Iran, to observer the holy month.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had also directed that a comprehensive action plan should be chalked out in consultation with all the stakeholders for the security of Zaireen (pilgrims) visiting Iran, Iraq and other holy places during the upcoming month of Muharram.

He observed that the security of the Zaireen visiting holy places abroad was the foremost priority and no effort should be spared in providing fool-proof security to them and ensuring their proper facilitation.

The Embassy of Iran in Pakistan has taken extra measures to facilitate more pilgrims going to Iran and Iraq.
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