PESHAWAR, July 10: Work on reconstruction of the mausoleum of famous mystic Pashto poet Abdul Rehman, popularly known as Rehman Baba, will be completed by the end of July.
“The structure of the mausoleum has been designed more strengthened comparing to the previous one that was destroyed by unidentified militants on March 5, 2009,” Peshawar Development Authority Director General Qazi Laiq told Dawn.
The building had developed big cracks owing to the huge blasts as militants had tied bombs with all the main pillars of the mausoleum. The structure was later demolished as it was feared that it could collapse anytime.
The famous verses of Rehman Baba along with Urdu translation have been inscribed nicely on the inner walls of the mausoleum.
A caretaker standing near the tomb told Dawn that Urdu translation of the verses was meant for non-Pakhtun visitors.
A police checkpost has also been set up adjacent to the mausoleum. Ten policemen have been deployed at the post to thwart any subversive act.
Earlier the number of policemen was five, however, it was increased after a bomb blast at the shrine of Panj Pir on June 22 last in Hazar Khwani village, located some two kilometres away from the Rehman Baba graveyard. A police constable said that they performed duties in three shifts at three points around the Rehman Baba Complex. He claimed that they were equipped with sophisticated weapons and had capability to protect the mausoleum if someone dared to harm it.
According to the policeman, they keep vigilance on the visitors and enter the names of non-locals in a register besides frisking suspected people.
“This time the mausoleum of Rehaman Baba has been built strong enough to save it from destruction if explosive material is planted in it in future,” said Mr Laiq.
He said that estimated cost of the reconstruction project was Rs39 million. The project was funded by the federal government as President Asif Ali Zardari had announced reconstruction of the tomb when it was bombed, he said.
He said that reconstruction of the mausoleum would be completed by the end of July that was two months late from the schedule date. Precious stone specially brought from Multan were used in the dome of the mausoleum, he said.
The caretaker demanded of the government to depute sweeper for cleaning the tomb and the adjacent mosque.