New Traffic Route Plan for Muharram Processions in Karachi Announced

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July 29, 2023

The Karachi traffic police have released a diversion plan for Muharram processions happening on the 8th, 9th, and 10th of Muharram. The main procession on the 8th will begin at Nishtar Park at 1:30 pm and end at the Hussainian Iranian Imambargah in Kharadar. On the 9th, the procession of religious scholars will start at Liaquatabad Imambargah and reach Nishtar Park, before continuing on to the Hussainian Iranian Imambargah.

On the 10th, a large assembly will be held at Nishtar Park before the main procession proceeds to the Hussainian Iranian Imambargah. Once the procession departs from Nishtar Park, traffic from the city will be diverted from Soldier Bazaar, Coast Guards HQ, and Ankle Saria Chowk to Jubilee or Nishtar Road. No vehicles will be allowed on the procession routes beyond Gurumandir Chowk and entry of all types of vehicles will be prohibited on MA Jinnah Road except those with procession stickers.

Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar and is considered a sacred month by Muslims worldwide. It marks the beginning of the Islamic New Year and is a time of mourning for the Shia Muslim community, who commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, and his companions at the Battle of Karbala in 680 AD.

During Muharram, processions are taken out in various cities around the world, including Karachi, to remember the sacrifices made by Imam Hussain and his followers. The processions in Karachi are some of the largest and most elaborate in Pakistan, with thousands of people participating and millions of spectators lining the streets to watch.

The processions in Karachi are organized by various Shia organizations and take place over ten days, with the largest processions on the 8th, 9th, and 10th of Muharram. The processions are led by a Tazia, a replica of the tomb of Imam Hussain, which is carried on the shoulders of mourners.

The processions follow a specific route through the city, with designated stops for prayers and rituals. The route is carefully planned and managed by the Karachi traffic police to ensure the safety of participants and spectators.

In addition to the traffic diversion plan, the Karachi traffic police also deploy additional personnel and resources during Muharram to manage the crowds and maintain law and order. They also work closely with the organizers of the processions to ensure that the events are conducted peacefully and without incident.

Despite these efforts, there have been instances of violence and sectarian attacks during Muharram processions in the past, particularly in areas where the Shia and Sunni communities live in close proximity. To prevent such incidents, the government of Pakistan has implemented strict security measures during Muharram, including the deployment of army personnel and the suspension of mobile phone services in some areas.

Despite the challenges, Muharram processions in Karachi continue to be an important religious and cultural event for the Shia Muslim community. They provide a space for people to express their grief and pay homage to Imam Hussain and his followers, and also serve as a reminder of the importance of unity and tolerance in a diverse society.

In conclusion, the traffic diversion plan announced by the Karachi traffic police for Muharram processions is an important measure to ensure the safety and smooth flow of traffic during this important event. The plan, along with the additional security measures implemented by the government, will help to prevent incidents of violence and maintain law and order during this sensitive time. The Muharram processions in Karachi are a testament to the rich cultural and religious diversity of Pakistan and serve as a reminder of the importance of tolerance and understanding in a pluralistic society.