Shia Muslims observe Arbaeen across Pakistan
Millions of Pakistani Shiites are holding mourning rituals on Arbaeen, which marks the 40th day after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussain (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the third Shia Imam.
Black-clad Pakistani mourners have taken to the streets and local mosques and other religious and community centers to participate in observances where elegies are recited in memory of Imam Hussain (AS) and his 72 loyal companions. They were martyred in an unequal battle with the troops of second Umayyad caliph Yazid ibn Muawiyah in 680 CE at a place still remembered and referred to as Karbala located in Iraq.
Arbaeen, which falls on December 24 this year in Pakistan and yesterday on December 23, it was marked in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Europe and other countries. Meanwhile in Iraq, millions of Muslims from around the world have thronged the holy city of Karbala.
Tight security measures have been put in place with a large number of security forces deployed in sacred sites for the occasion.
Top Shiite leaders Allama Syed Sajid Ali Naqvi, Allama Raja Nasir Abbas Jafri and Allama Hamid Ali Mosavi who are leading main Arbaeen processions from Imambargah Hifazat Ali Shah, Imambargah Colonel Maqbool and Imambargah Almdar Hussain-Tali Mohalla respectively, including other dozens of regional leaders.
Terrorists of ASWJ and other Deobandi parties have planned to stop 150-yers-old historical procession of Imam Hussain AS in Rawalpinidi ar Raja Bazar. The procession of this route is leaded by MWM’s Chief Allama Raja Nasir Abbas Jafri today.
With cell phones off the grid and pillion riding on motorcycles banned, the government has put in place strict security measures for the Chehlum of Imam Hussain (AS).
Under the comprehensive security plan, 10,000 police and Rangers personnel have been deployed for security of the main mourning procession in Karachi. The procession route would be monitored through aerial surveillance and through a network of 150 closed-circuit television cameras.
Cellular phone services in major cities of the province, including Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur and Khairpur, would most likely be suspended from 7am till 10pm. The government has also barred pillion riding for a day across the province.
Most parts of Rawalpindi have been sealed for fear of untoward incidents. Cellular services will be suspended in various cities, with the government taking strict measures to ensure security for the mourners.
Thousands of police personnel and Rangers have also been deployed in the city, with entry and exit point of the troubled Raja Bazar sealed.
Similarly, strict security arrangements have been made in other major cities including Lahore, Peshawar Multan and tribal agencies.
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