On this day, the 28th of December in 2009 a suicide bomb attack on a religious procession of Shia Muslims in Karachi killed more than 45 people and critically wounded several others. In the wake of the attacks, Pakistani security forces were placed on high alert as Shia Muslims marked the holy month of Muharram. Thousands of police and paramilitary forces were deployed in the city for the fear of further terrorist attacks on the Ashura processions in others parts of the city and the nation. Emergency was declared in all hospitals located in Karachi following the explosion and arson incidents. Pakistan’s then interior minister, Rehman Malik, pointed the finger at a cluster of militant groups, including the Pakistani Taliban, al-Qaida, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Jaish-e-Mohammad, that he said have a joint goal to destabilize Pakistan. Malik appealed to the Shia community to cancel processions for the next two days “for the sake of security and to save precious lives”

Nine years after its passage, the Ashura bombing case still awaits trial.

“The police and other law enforcement agencies have failed to turn up to show any progress regarding arrest of the suspects, who are still at large.” a judicial official said at an antiterrorism court.

“A deliberate attempt seems to be afoot by the extremists to turn the fight against militants into a sectarian clash and make the people fight against one another,”

–Former President Asif Ali Zardari