Pakistan: 33,000 personnel deployed to guard country on Ashura

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SHAFAQNA – Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Saturday said that the Ministry of Interior (MoI) has deployed around 33,000 troops of army and civil armed forces including Rangers and Frontier Corps across 54 districts of the country to assist the provincial governments in maintaining law and order during Muharram.
In a statement, the minister issued directives to law enforcers to remain on high alert during the next few days. He said that 12 helicopters had also been stationed at various areas to extend air support throughout the country, whereas cellular services may also be suspended for limited timings only at selective sensitive locations on the 9th and 10th of Muharram.
He further stated that all Muharram-related activities were being monitored from the control room of the ministry round the clock and “we are in continuous contact with the provinces to ensure maximum protection for the security of mourners and the general public”. For this purpose, the minister was also in coordination with intelligence agencies and information regarding threats to any specific area was being relayed forthwith for timely action to prevent any untoward activity, he maintained.
Meanwhile, sources said that the Interior Ministry had decided to suspend mobile phone services in all major cities on the 8th, 9th and 10th of Muharram. Contingents of the Pakistan Army, Rangers and FC personnel would be deployed for security purposes in all major cities, including Karachi.

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