KARACHI - Thousands of mourners participated in the main procession of Ashura to commemorate the sacrifices of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA), his family and companions in Karbala on October 10, 680 AD.

The day was observed with solemnity and reverence across the city. The main event of the day was held at Nashtar Park. Almost 650 processions were taken out in different areas of the city. These processions later merged into the main mourning procession.

In his address at Nashtar Park, Allama Shehnshah Hussain Naqvi paid homage to Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and other martyrs of Karbala. After that, the procession was taken out from Nashtar Park and it marched towards Hussanian Iranian Imambargah in Khardar.

Mourners were carrying black flags and reciting poetry praising sacrifices of the martyrs of Karbala. They continued to beat their chests and flagellated themselves with chains and knives to mourn the martyrs of Karbala.

The participants in the procession offered Friday prayers on the way to Kharadar and Allama Shehnshah Hussain Naqvi led the prayers.

Later, the Imamia Students Organisation staged a protest demonstration against “forced disappearance” of members of the Shia sect. Carrying placards and banners inscribed with slogans, the protesters demanded that the authorities ensure recovery of the missing people.

“Dozens of innocent Shia clerics and youths have been taken away forcibly and this practice is still going on. Family members of the missing persons have been waiting for them for several years, but in vain. If they are involved in any criminal activity, they should be presented before the court of law,” said Brother Askari, ISO leader.

He demanded that Prime Minister Imran Khan, Supreme Court Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa take notice of these “forced disappearances” and ensure recovery of the missing people.

After the protest, mourners started marching towards the point of culmination of the procession and passed through their traditional route — Numaish Chowrangi, Sea Breeze, Empress Market, Regal Chowk, Radio Pakistan, Denso Hall, Bolton Market and Light House — to reach Hussanian Iranian Imambargah in Khardar.

Mobile phone service remained suspended in most parts of the city. The aforementioned localities were sealed and movement of people other than those taking part in the procession was restricted. A ban was imposed on pillion riding from 8th to 10th of Muharram across the city.

Besides the law enforcement agencies, Abu Turab Scouts and others performed security duties. More than 4,000 volunteers were there to facilitate the mourners.

CM, RANGERS DG VISIT PROCESSION

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah visited the procession to review security arrangements for the procession. He walked on foot from Empress Market to MA Jinnah Road and participated in the mourning procession. The chief minister also took an aerial view of the procession.

Appreciating performance of the police, Rangers and the intelligence agencies, Shah said that coordinated efforts of law enforcement agencies made Ashura peaceful. The CM visited three divisions— Karachi, Sukkur and Larkana— to witness security arrangements.

Shah was apparently satisfied with efforts of law enforcement agencies and said there was proper deployment of police and Rangers at gatherings and mourning processions across the province. “The district administration also worked hard for provisions of all facilities on the routes of the processions and gatherings. I am thankful to religious leaders and scholars for their support and cooperation to make Aushra peaceful,” he said. Director General of Sindh Rangers Muhammad Saeed also visited the main procession and met mourners.

Separately, Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen expressed gratitude for the provincial government, law enforcement agencies and city administration for making Ashura a peaceful event.

In a statement issued here on Saturday, MWM Secretary General Allama Maqsood Ali Domki said that CM Shah and his team deserve to be praised for their untiring efforts. “The efforts of Inspector General of Sindh Police Kaleem Imam, Karachi police chief Dr Amir Shaikh, Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar, Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani, and other concerned officials are commendable,” he said.