LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar will formally inaugurate the three-day celebrations of 976th annual Urs of Hazrat Ali bin Usman Hajveri (RA) famously known as Data Ganj Bakhsh (RA) on Friday (today) by laying wreath and opening milk Sabeel at the shrine of 10th century saint.

Millions of devotees from across Pakistan and other countries including India, Saudi Arabia, United States and Europe are participating in the annual event to pay homage to the saint and offer special prayers. Auqaf department has allocated Rs10 million for lungar and other ceremonies. Philanthropists will also provide food and milk to the zaireen.  The festivities had already begun with the 3-day international Seerat Conference titled ‘role of Hazrat Ali Hajveri (RA) in building Islamic civilization in the sub-continent’. Governor Punjab Ch Muhammad Sarwar inaugurated the conference two days ago. Minister for Auqaf Pir Saeedul Hasan Shah presided over the conference. Qirat, Naat and debate contests, seminars on Tasawwuf and spiritualism and lectures by religious scholars are part of Urs celebrations.

Rs10m allocated for charity and other ceremonies

Besides a large number of Ulema, Mashaikhs, spiritual leaders and Gaddi Nasheens from all over the country will participate in the preaching sessions. These gatherings will be presided over by noted personalities like Syed Ahmad Ashraf Shah, Ghulam Qutubuddin, Nazeer Ali Shah, Baqar Ali Shah. Abul Khair, Samsam Ali Shah, Abdul Shakoor Hazarvi, Sufi Ashraf Masoomi, Siddiq Hazarvi, Mufti Khan Mohammad Qadri, Ashraf Asif Jalali, Prof Zafarul Haq, Abdul Tawwab Siddiqi, Fida Hussain Shah, Hafeezullah Mehrvi, Mehmood Ahmad Qadri and others will delivber lectures. Special prayers for national security and prosperity of the country, freedom of Kashmir and Palestine and unity of Muslim ummah will be offered.

Besides boarding and lodging facilities for devotees, the department has made foolproof security arrangements to avoid any untoward incident. Central control room has been set up to monitor happening through 143 close circuit cameras installed at different points. More than 2000 police personnel including three SPs and seven DSPs and 450 volunteers would perform security duties. 12 walk through gates has been installed at entry points to the shrine. Female police constables have also been deputed.  Rescue 1122 staff will remain alert with five ambulances. Special treatment arrangements have also been made at the hospitals. Bomb disposal squads will also be present. Traffic Police have chalked out a plan to facilitate devotees and smooth flow of traffic on nearby roads.