ISLAMABAD - It was a sheer mismanagement and a little effort on the part of local administration and police could have averted the fiasco in downtown Rawalpindi on Ashura, which left over a dozen dead and several others injured.

Background interviews of Ashura procession participants and eye-witness to the ugly incident taken place in Raja Bazar in front of Darul Aloom Taleemul Quran, informed The Nation that had the police and district administration stopped the Ashura procession at Fawara Chowk to give some to the people to offer their Jumma prayers at mosque adjacent to the seminary, the clash could have been averted.

It was further noticed that the district administration and police had no contingency plan on that day and that was the reason that angry mob after the gruesome killings and setting on fire of market beneath the mosque on ground floor, some miscreants attacked the Imambargah Colonel Maqbool at D.A.V. College Road but could not succeed in their nefarious design and could only set ablaze a few shops near the Imambargah.

A timely and prompt reaction from both the Punjab and federal governments could have pacified the situation but till the next day only the Punjab Law Minister came up with a formal statement announcing to get the matter probed by a high court judge.

The government should have come up with a quick reaction to the incident and slackness on their part helped shoot up the anger of the people.

Though belated, but the federal and the Punjab governments wake up and now the damage control measures are being taken to pacify the situation.

The role of Ulema belonging to various sects was commendable so far and their statements urging restraint to their followers had worked well. Now the government must keep these Ulema, who have influence on masses, in the loop, rather they should be kept in the forefront in resolving this matter and getting the sectarian hawks calm.

Smelling the highly volatile situation, the administration had called out the Army and imposed curfew in parts of the city to contain riots. But it was alarming to note that despite curfew a couple of incidents of aerial firing were reported from different parts of the city, which compelled the authorities to extend curfew for at least next 24 hours.

The funeral prayer of the clashes victims would be offered today at Liaquat Bagh and once again it would be a testing time for the administration to keep the participants of the collective funeral peaceful and that was the reason the curfew was extended for another 24 hours to keep the participation in the collective funeral low.

Political analysts are of the view that the government should have constituted a judicial inquiry commission by now as any delay in it could trigger a chain reaction in other parts of the country.

At the same time these analysts also demanded announcement of immediate compensation the families of the deceased. Similarly, the owners of the shops, gutted in the arson, should also be compensated and announcement in this regard should be made forthwith as it would also help lower the anger.

The government should also make it public the departmental inquiry against the district administration and police officials who were assigned to keep peace and normalcy on the Ashura Days.

The major responsibility in this connection rests with the Ulema belonging to various sects as in the given volatile situation they could pacify the people and restrain their followers to stay calm and avoid further violence in Rawalpindi and elsewhere in the province.

The Defence Council of Pakistan is also going to meet today also called today to take stock of the situation and hopefully.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should rush back from his foreign visit and himself tackle the situation in consultation with Ulema leaders and evolve a strategy to deal with the obtaining situation.