KARACHI – Sindh government has declared MA Jinnah Road as high security zone during Muharram due to its importance in connection with the central processions of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA), following the possible threats of terrorism. However, the shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi in Karachi has been closed for visitors from 8-10 of Muharram to keep faithful from any untoward situation. These decisions have been taken by the provincial government in a meeting held on Thursday. The meeting was specially called to change government’s security plan just after the explosion of three bombs in Karachi.
Following the security plan, over 900 CCTV cameras have also been installed on 144 spots of MA Jinnah Road to monitor the main processions while CCTV cameras would also be installed on the police and Rangers mobiles. Mobile phone jammers would also be placed along with the processions to avoid any untoward situation.Though MA Jinnah Road has been declared M.A. Jinnah Road as high security zone during Muharramul Haram by the provincial government, it has been blocked for three days till Muharram 10. No political or religious party would be allowed to set up aid camp on 9th and 10th Muharram. No vehicle without security pass or sticker would be allowed on MA Jinnah Road. All link roads with MA Jinnah Road have been declared no entry zone, all shopping plazas and shops on the processions routes have been sealed by erecting barricades including containers, buses, trucks and concrete bricks. Heavy contingent of police and Rangers have been deployed to oversee the security along the routes, rooftops, besides, search mechanism; walk-through gates would also be available to scan the participants of the processions. Police sources said that national highway and super highway are likely to be closed due to the possible movement of the terrorists. Despite, the Deputy Inspector General of Traffic Police Karachi announced the mourning procession routes and alternate traffic arrangements during three Ashura days in the city.
According to the traffic plan, on 8th Muharram at 01:30pm a Shia procession will start from Nishter Park via Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto Road, Father Jaminis Road, Mehfil-e-Shah-e-Khurasan MA Jinnah Road, Mainsfield Street Preedy Street , Again MA Jinnah Road (right turn Baba-e-Urdu Road) Baba-e-Urdu Road, Crossing of Chand Bibi Road, Nishter Road, bara Imam, Altaf Hussain Road (old Napier Road) MA Jinnah Road, Boulton Market, Bombay Bazar, Nawab Mahabat Khanjee road and it will terminate at Hussainian Iranian Imambargah.On 9th Muharram 1434 A.H. i.e. 24-11-2012 at 09:00 a.m. a Shia Procession will be taken out from Markazi Imambargah Liaquatabad. This procession will first go to Martin road, Imambargah and thereafter it will come to Nishter park where majlis will be held. At about 1200 noon the procession will be taken out from Nishter Park for Iranian Hussainian Imambargah, Kharadar via Nishter Park, Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto Road, Father Jaminis Road, Mehfil-e-Shah-e-Khurasan MA Jinnah Road, Mainsfield Street Preedy Street , Again MA Jinnah Road Boulton Market, Bombay Bazar, Kharadar Nawab Mahabat Khanjee road to Hussainian Iranian Imambargah.On 10th Muharram, a large majlis will be held at Nishter park from 07:30am to 0900am and after majlis a procession will start and proceed via route of 9th Muharram procession.As soon as the procession will start from Nishter Park, all vehicular traffic coming from city side will be diverted to Soldier bazaar road from the junction of MA Jinnah Road/Dr Dawood Pota Road.All the traffic on Soldier Bazaar Road from its junction with Dr Dawood Pota Road up to its junction with Khan Bahadur Naqi Muhammad Khan road shall flow one way.All buses, minibuses, Trucks and other coming from Nazimabad side will be diverted onto Nishter Road towards Zoological Garden to reach their destinations.No vehicle shall be permitted to park along the route of the procession.Meanwhile, Ghazi shrine has been closed till Ashura while the roads leading to it were also closed by erecting barricades and security was also beefed up in shrine and its surrounding areas.
According to Sindh Auqaf Minister Nadeem Ahmed Bhutto, the shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi has been closed after receiving any possible threats by the police. Sources privy to the matter said that beside Ghazi shrine, the security has also been beefed in several shrines in a city including Misri Shah and Alam Shah Bukhari and their administrations were also asked to keep limited the activities due to any possible terror activity. SHO Agha Shamshad confirmed the closure of the shrine upon receiving possible threats of terrorist attack but said nothing could say about which kind of attack would be occurred. He said that there were different reports about terrorist attacks like they could hit the shrine with the explosive-laden vehicle, planted device as well as suicide bombing can also be occurred.