Provincial authorities have temporarily banned motorcycles from carrying multiple passengers in Lahore (Punjab province), Quetta (Balochistan province), and cities in Sindh province ahead of large mourning processions for the Day of Ashura scheduled to take place on Monday, September 9, and Tuesday, September 10. In Karachi, 18,000 police officers will be deployed and multiple roads closed to traffic on Monday and Tuesday, including MA Jinnah Road and the road linking Saddar Regal Chowk to Saddar Dawakhana.
There is an increased risk of militant attacks and other sectarian violence during the annual Ashura processions. An increased number of police units will be deployed on main roads leading to major ritual sites and along the mourning procession routes. Transportation disruptions, such as security checkpoints and road blockades, are to be expected throughout the abovementioned cities.
Muharram is a month of remembrance for Muslims, who mourn from the first night of Muharram and continue for ten nights, culminating with a large procession on the 10th of Muharram, the Day of Ashura. In Pakistan in 2019, the period begins with the Islamic New Year on August 31, with Ashura observed between the evenings of September 9 and September 10.
As a precautionary measure, individuals present in Pakistan are advised to stay away from public gatherings, marches, and processions due to the risk of violence. Anticipate telecommunications interruptions, transportation disruptions, and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities.
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