Sindh Prime Minister Murad Ali Shah on Sunday approved the ban on passengers traveling in Karachi from the night of Muharram 8 to Ashura to maintain law and order and avoid any adverse incident.
In a meeting with government officials and law enforcement agencies, the prime minister said that while not in favor of riding in the passenger seat, the recent murder of a doctor by motorcyclists "forced him to take the decision". In the rest of the province, the ban will be imposed on the 9th and 10th of the Islamic month.
Shah said that while there was no serious incident in Sindh in the last three years, the doctor's murder shows that the government "still has a lot to do."
"We have done our best to restore the situation of law and order in the city (Karachi), but we still have to do a lot," he told attendees.
Shah ordered the police inspector general (IGP) Sindh Syed Kaleem Imam to begin a "quick check" throughout the province. He also approved the installation of additional CCTV cameras that were used in the general elections last year and ordered law enforcement agencies to deploy heavy forces from the police and Rangers. He also said that 52 companies in Pakistan's armed forces should be in reserve so that they could be called in an emergency.
The Director General of Rangers, Division General Omer Ahmed Bokhari, while informing the prime minister, said that of the 52 army companies, which will be deployed throughout the province, 14 will be published in Karachi, five in Hyderabad, four in Mirpurkhas, three in Shaheed Benazirabad, 10 in the divisions of Sukkur and 16 in Larkana.
The IGP told Shah that 71,485 police and women will be on duty during Muharram through Sindh, of which 7,044 officers would be mobile, 52,725 will be static, 6,539 will be deployed in police pickets and 5,177 will be in reserve.
Around 1,022 traffic police will be deployed in Sindh to control traffic, IGP Imam added.
Security arrangements have been reinforced throughout the country during the first 10 days of Muharram. In addition to the ban on boarding, carrying weapons and ammunition, with the exception of uniformed police personnel, Rangers and other law enforcement agencies will also be banned from Muharram 1 to 10.
The assembly of five or more persons, except in the processions of Muharram, majalis and tazia, and the improper and provocative use of chalk, banners, posters and speeches have also been prohibited for 10 days under Section 144. Aerial shots and Procession departures without the permission of the competent authorities have also been excluded.