Pakistan observes Muharram amid tight security

Islamabad: Pakistan observed Muharram with solemnity on Friday to pay homage to Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, and other martyrs of Karbala amid strict security.

Processions were taken out in various cities amid tight security, Dawn online reported.

Shia Muslims all over the world take part in large processions where they self-flagellate with sharp objects and beat their chests, mourning the death of Hussein, who was killed during the Battle of Karbala (in present-day Iraq) in the year 680, an event that solidified the schism that separates Sunni and Shia Muslims to this day.

Apart from the security measures, hospitals and ambulance services across Pakistan were put on high alert.

Pillion-riding was banned in many cities. Citizens faced partial suspension of cellular service in several cities.

In their separate messages to the nation on Muharram, President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan called for forging unity to fight terrorism and counter what they said were the nefarious designs of the country’s enemies, Radio Pakistan reported.