The Home Department of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province has initiated plans to suspend mobile services at specific locations in 14 districts to maintain law and order during the ‘Ushara’ (10 days) of Muharram. Additionally, Afghan refugees have been restricted to refugee camps throughout the province.
In a letter addressed to the Deputy Commissioners of various districts, including DI Khan, Hangu, Orakzai, Karam, Kohat, Peshawar, Tank, Bannu, Haripur, Mansehra, Mardan, Nowshera, Lakki Marwat, and Abbottabad, the Home Department has requested the provision of detailed information for the closure of mobile services. The letter specifies that the geographical details, dates, and times of the areas in the districts where mobile service shutdown is required should be provided.
The directive emphasizes that mobile services should only be suspended in specific areas deemed necessary, rather than across the entire district. The mobile service providers should be informed of the shutdown at least 48 hours in advance. In case of emergencies, the companies should be notified at least three hours before the desired time of service suspension.
Furthermore, the concerned institutions have been instructed to utilize landline services to maintain communication with each other during this period.
Another letter has been dispatched to all Divisional Commissioners, excluding Malakand, urging the enforcement of Section 144 during the month of Muharram. This section prohibits the possession and exhibition of arms.
Additionally, directives have been issued to ban practices such as double riding, the use of black glasses, standing on roofs near Imambargahs and procession routes, and the presence of outsiders in inns and hotels along the procession routes. The district administration has been granted the authority to impose additional restrictions as deemed necessary.
The Home Department has also instructed all Divisional Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners of the districts to confine Afghan refugees to their respective camps during Muharram. They should not be allowed to venture outside the camps or engage in transportation.
The Department of Health, Municipalities, Urban and Rural Development, Rehabilitation and Settlement, Population and Social Welfare, Inspector General of Police, Headquarters 11 Corps, all Divisional Commissioners, and Chief Executive of PPESCO and TESCO have received a letter from the Home Department, requesting their preparedness for Muharram.
The commissioners and deputy commissioners have been directed to convene meetings of the divisional and district intelligence committees to formulate strategies. They are also responsible for meeting the expenses related to ‘Ushra’ Muharram.
The police department has been tasked with creating a special security plan for Muharram. They are required to identify sensitive and highly sensitive imambargahs and provide details of the security arrangements.
The Department of Health, Population Welfare, and Social Welfare have been instructed to assign women staff for duty during Muharram and prepare a health contingency plan. The Local Government Department has been entrusted with the responsibility of providing municipal services. The services of Rescue 1122 have also been arranged. PESCO and TESCO have been directed to ensure uninterrupted power supply throughout Muharram.