Bracing for Muharram (in)security
As the year 2012 nears its end, the holy month of Muharram has commenced. Having already being targeted in sectarian and terror attacks, as pointed out in a recent report, one expected an improvement in the security situation given the importance and reverence of the holy month. However, this has not been the case and just three days into Muharram a bomb went off near an Imambargah in Abbas Town locality of Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Karachi, on Sunday evening. At least two people were killed and over a dozen others injured.
Is there no one listening to the cries of the unfortunate and innocent who seek spiritual guidance during the month? Why can’t the culprits for once leave them alone when not only the city of Karachi but in fact the whole nation is undergoing trauma and hardships due to terror from outside and within, economic problems, and fear of being caught in the line of fire?
The same report states, “Despite extensive security measures taken in the city to avert incidents of terrorism, the assailant succeeded to park an explosives-laden motorcycle near the Imambargah where a Muharram Majlis was to be held.” What is this so called level of “extensive security measures”? How come even in the year 2012, such barbaric acts in the month of Muharram continue to be repeated?
The report says further, “The IED-rigged motorcycle had been parked just before the Majlis was to begin, IG Sindh Fayyaz Leghari said. Additional IG of Karachi Iqbal Mehmood told a private TV channel that police had recommended a ban on motorcycle riding during Ashura in the city.
“Initial reports suggest the IED (improvised explosive device) weighing three to four kilogram had been rigged in the motorcycle,” DIG East Shahid Hayat told Dawn.” Considering the whole ‘Parliament-Rehman Malik’ fiasco on the first day of Muharram, do you think the ban on motorcycles should be re-considered? Or can the authorities be expected to come up with wiser solutions with regards to vehicle checking as well as body searches in sensitive areas of all cities? Would such bans be effective in controlling the menace of terrorism and sectarian violence that has been gripping the nation for years?