Rawalpindi/islamabad - Police and Rangers, on Wednesday, carried out a flag march to create a sense of security among the masses and to ensure law and order in the city during Muharram ul Harram.

The flag march, carried out on the instructions of City Police Officer (CPO), Israr Ahmed Khan Abbasi, was jointly led by SP Potohar Division Syed Ali and SP Rawal Division Behram Khan. SDPOs, SHOs of different police stations, Rangers, traffic police officers, and commandoes of Elite Force also participated in the march.

According to details, the flag march began from Police Line Number 1 and culminated at its starting point, passing through Katcheri Chowk, Mall Road, Chuhur Chowk, Fleshman Hotel, Mareer Chowk, Liauqat Bagh, DAV College Road, Fawara Chowk, Jamia Masjid Road, Kohati Bazaar and Chandni Chowk.

Earlier, CPO Israr Ahmed Khan Abbasi briefed the divisional SPs, SDPOs, SHOs and Moharar of police stations about security duty during Muharram ul Harram. He directed the cops to remain alert during duty and keep an eye out for suspects and anti-state elements.

The CPO also informed that police have finalised all the security arrangements to guard the procession of 7th Muharram to be carried out today in the city. “As many as 7000 well-equipped police officers and officials would be deployed to shield the procession,” he said. He added that the police force would also be assisted by Special Branch, Elite Force, Punjab Constabulary, Ladies Police, PQR, Rangers and members of district peace committees.

He said operational police officials have also been assigned duties and a control room has been set up to ensure seamless coordination between all the wings of Rawalpindi police and security agencies. Meanwhile, Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Chaudhry Yousaf Ali Shahid, said that traffic police have made all arrangements to control the traffic on 7th Muharram and to facilitate the mourners.

Meanwhile, Punjab government has banned entry of nine Ulema into the province as the authorities fear they may potentially act in a manner prejudicial to public safety and maintenance of public order during Muharram-ul-Haram.

The banned Ulema include Maulana Abdul Aziz (Deoband), Allama Sajid Ali Naqvi, Leader of Sadar Millat Jaaferia Pakistan (Ahl-e-Tashi), Maulana Masood-ur-Rehman Usmani, central leader MIP defunct (Deoband/MIP), Maulana Abdul Saleem (Deoband), Maulana Nazir Ahmed (Deoband), Maulana Suleman Gill of Islamabad (Deoband), Allama Muhammad Amin Shaheedi (Ahl-e-Tashi), Prof. Talab ur Rehman (Deoband) and Maulana Tahir Ashrafi, Chairman Wafaq ul Madaras, Pakistan (Deoband). 

The order to this effect was issued by Home Department Punjab under Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance, 1960 on 19 September 2017. The order shall remain in force for 60 days. The provincial government believes that the Ulema will make inflammatory speeches and indulge in activities prejudicial to public safety and maintenance of good order in the province. They government further held that their speeches, presence or other activities are likely to promote feelings of hatred and ill-will among different sects and thus causing law and order situation especially in the wake of present security environment.

The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration had also banned 11 sectarian agitators from speech and blocked 14 religious scholars to enter Islamabad for two months for the same reasons. Activities of the persons in the fourth schedule would be put under surveillance and they will be strictly monitored.

The ICT administration has banned sectarian agitators of different sects, including Hafiz Muhammad Siddique, Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Ghumman, Allama Tahir Ashraf, Maulana Abdul Khaliq Rehmani, Maulana Aurangzeb Farooqi, Maulana Muhammad Yousaf Rizvi alias Tokay Wali Sarkar, Pir Irfan Al-Mashadi, Maulana Khadim Hussain Rizvi, Dr Asif Ashraf Jalali, Allama Syed Zakir Maqbool Hassan, Hafiz Tassadaq Hussain, Maulana Muhammad Iqbal, Allama Ghazanfar Taunsavi and Allama Jafar Jatoi.

On the recommendations of special branch, the ICT administration also banned 11 religious scholars of different schools of thought from speeches. They include Maulana Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid, Maulana Abdul Razzak Haideri, Maulana Abdul Rehman Muaviah, Qari Ahsan Ullah, Maulana Professor Zafar Iqbal Jalali, Maulana Imtiaz Hussain Kazmi, Maulana Liaqat Rizvi, Allama Sheikh Mohsin Ali Najfi, Agha Shifa Najfi, Allama Muhammad Ameen Shaheedi and Allama Nasir Abbas Jafri.

According to reports, a total of 909 religious gatherings and 177 processions (159 traditional and 18 licensed) will be carried out on the occasion of Aushura. As many as 1,500 personnel of Rangers and 500 FC personnel will assist Islamabad police to ensure security in the city. On Wednesday, Islamabad police along with contingents of Pakistan Rangers conducted flag march with an objective to maintain peace and tranquility in the city during Haram.


ISRAR AHMED/tahir niaz