Officials told to meet members of peace committees to improve coordination
BAHAWALPUR: In order to maintain an atmosphere of peace, unity, religious harmony and brotherhood, officials of the district government must stay in close coordination with members of district peace committees and ensure that they play their roles effectively, DCO Imran Sikandar Baloch said on Wednesday.
He was addressing a meeting of members of various peace committees at the Circuit House. Bahawalpur DPO Sarfraz Ahmad Falki, assistant commissioners, DSPs and officials of relevant departments were present.
The DCO said during Muharram, all officials must work together to maintain peace at all costs. “People of all sects have the right to practice their faith in peace,” he said.
He seconded a suggestion from several religious scholars who wanted the government to organise peace walks in all tehsils. “We need to give the world a message that we are united against extremism,” the DCO said. He appreciated the role of religious scholars and businessmen in ensuring peace in the region.
The DCO said religious leaders should preach peace and brotherhood. He directed the TMOs to repair the routes, install lights and finish other development work before Muharram ul Haram.
DPO Falki said they had made plans to ensure fool-proof security arrangements during the month. He directed DSPs to hold regular meetings with peace committees in all tehsils. He said the police would be deployed at processions and Shiite gatherings throughout the month. Violations of the Amplifier Act would not be tolerated and no one would be allowed to play aloud cassettes carrying inflammatory messages by any religious scholar in public places or in houses located along Muharram routes.
He said walk-chalking was strictly prohibited and all processions and gatherings would end at the prescribed timings. The participants of Muharram processions and gatherings would be frisked to keep out any extremist elements.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 1st, 2015.