RAWALPINDI - Provincial Minister for Labour and Manpower, Raja Ashfaq Sarwar, on laid the foundation stone of damaged Darul Aloom Taleem-ul-Quran and Madina Market during a ceremony held here at Raja Bazaar on Saturday.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held at a time when DATQ clerics and officials of Evacuee Trust Property Board have been engaged in a battle over land’s ownership. DATQ, mosque and Madina Market were burnt by rioters during a sectarian clash on November 15, 2013 (Youm-e-Ashur). The Punjab government had announced to reconstruct DATQ, mosque and Madina Market in compensation and released Rs 340 million in this regard. The contract of rebuilding the damaged buildings was awarded to Frontier Works Organisation (FWO).  Addressing on the occasion, Raja Ashfaq Sarwar said that the provincial government led by Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif fulfilled the promise to start the construction work. He directed the commissioner and DCO to take personal interest to complete the work as soon as possible. The minister lauded the efforts of religious leaders and traders to pacify the situation after sectarian violence on Ashura.  He said that the religious leaders and traders especially Sharjeel Mir played a pivotal role to cool down the high tempers otherwise, the violence could spread across the country.

JUI-F leader Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri said that the credit went to people in general and traders and religious leaders in particular to make people convinced that the sectarian issue was created by anti-Islam powers to divide the Muslim Ummah. He said that the CM in coordination with Maulana Fazlur Rehman controlled the situation amicably and the issue was ended. 

Rawalpindi Traders Association President Sharjeel Mir thanked provincial government for starting construction work despite odds. He also requested the government to complete the shops construction within a month and pay compensation to the traders of Madina Market so that they could start their work again.  The ceremony was attended by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam leaders Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Pir Azizur Rehman Hazarvi, Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil, Commissioner Rawalpindi Division Zahid Saeed, DCO Sajid Zafar Dall, PML-N MNA Malik Abrar Ahmed, former MNAs Malik Shakeel Awan and Muhammad Hanif Abbasi, seminary students, traders and others.