The Rawalpindi district administration has banned 33 firebrand clerics, belonging to different sects, from entering the city for a period of two months ahead of Ashura.
The district administration has also barred eight religious clerks from delivering speeches during the month of Muharram.
Well-placed sources in the district administration said that the ban has been put in place to avoid any untoward sectarian incident in the city during the month of Muharram.
The sources further said that a majority of the religious scholars, who have been banned, mostly belong to Punjab, who frequently visit the twin cities during the month of Muharram.
According to the sources, these divisive religious figures are invited by their respective sects to deliver fiery speeches to arouse the sentiments of the people.
An official said that these religious figures and their hosts were previously warned not to deliver hate sermons, but they did not comply with the orders. According to the sources, local and provincial authorities intends to keep a vigilant eye on their activities this time around.
Those who have been banned from entering the city include Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) chief Maulana Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi, Maulana Muavia Azam, Muhammad Alam Tariq, Allama Muhammad Hussain, Maulana Attaullah bandyalvi, Maulan Abdul Aziz, Maulan Masood ur Rehman Usmani, Maulana Aurungzeb Farooqi, Mufti Saeed Arshad Al Hussaini, Allama Muhammad Abbas, Allama Zulfiqar Naqvi, Syed Irfan Mashadi , Allama Yousaf Rizvi, Maulana Umer Haideri, Maulana Muhammad Iqbal, Allama Munawar Alvi, Zakir Muhammad Abbas, Maulan Abdul Razak, Mali Ijaz Hussain, Maulana Abdul Rauf, Maulana Nawaz Baloch, Maulana Matiu Rashid, Maulana Abdur Rehman Shakir, Qari Sulman, Maulama Ziaullah Shah Bokhari, Mufti Kifayatullah, Maulana Ahmed Sohaib Khan, Maulana SanaUllah Haideri, Allama Taqi Naqvi, Allama Ghulam Shabbir, Maulana Wahab Musavi,Maulana Muhammad Hussain and Allama Gulfaraz Abbas.
The administration has also banned eight religious scholars including Maulana Ziaul Islam, Maulana Umer Farooq, Maulana Siddique, Qari Rashid Mehmood, Dr Rizwan Ul Hassan, Professor Talib Rehman, Safdar Hussain Abbasi and Mufti Tanveer Alam Farooqi from delivering speeches during the month of Muharram.
On the other hand, the Rawalpindi police reviewed security arrangements for Muharram. The local administration has directed the police to enhance security at the congregations, procession routes and around Imambargahs.