Strict security measures are planned in major Pakistani cities, including in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, and Rawalpindi, ahead of large mourning processions scheduled to take place on the 9th and 10th days of the Islamic month of Muharram (September 9 and 10), known as Ashura. There is an increased risk of militant attacks and other sectarian violence during the annual Ashura procession. Heavy contingents of police will be deployed on main roads leading to major ritual sites and along the routes of the mourning processions. Security checkpoints and road blockades are to be expected throughout the above-mentioned cities. Additionally, interruptions in Internet and cellular services are likely in major urban centers during the observance period.
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 and transportation disruptions and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities.
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