Since the beginning of Muharram, there have been three bomb explosions in the provincial capitals of Pakistan. The first bomb blew off in Lahore, killing several people. The second was a motorcycle bomb in Karachi, which caused 11 deaths. And the third in series of blasts, a suicide attack on a Peshawar imambargah, killed 11 mourners on January 17. The series of attacks, each in the three provincial capitals, may herald the upcoming fate of the fourth provincial capital, Quetta.
Quetta is the capital of Balochistan and there wasn’t any sectarian violence in 2007. So far this year has been peaceful, too. But Muharram has not bean a peaceful month during the past years: Suicide attackers have targeted Muharram processions on the day of Ashura and other days.
Strict security measures have therefore been arranged for by the government in Quetta in view of this history. The people, however, have their fears about security, due to which jaloos administrations have decided to take matters into their hands…partially, at least. Tens of young men have voluntarily enlisted as armed security-men. These men will be providing security to the processions along with the Police, Frontier Corps and Anti Terrorists Force.
Photo: Volunteer security-men marching alongside Anti-Terrorist Force officers to provide security to the seventh Moharram procession. Tens of young men have voluntarily enlisted as armed security-men, and will be assisting law enforcement agencies in providing security to the various Moharram processions. Click photo for larger view.