LAHORE: The city administration has decided to prepare a catalogue of the several known personalities buried at the Miani Sahib Graveyard.
The core objective behind this development is to provide basic information about the personalities buried in the country’s biggest graveyard in terms of burials, and make people aware of the services rendered by them, while the administration also wants to upgrade the burial services there.
“The graveyard has a historical significance, as a large number of people, including several known personalities, are buried here. Therefore, we have decide to keep acknowledging the services of the famous personalities buried here by preparing a history catalogue that will include placement of plaques or iron plates inscribed with the particulars and services of such people,” Deputy Commissioner Mudassar Riaz Malik said during his visit to the graveyard.
“The officials concerned must make efforts for improving various services -- streetlights, water, pathways, plantation – to the people visiting the graveyard either for a burial or visiting graves,” he added.
The Mughal-era Miani Sahib is Pakistan’s oldest graveyard spanning over 1,248 kanal and is situated on Bahawalpur Road, connecting Chauburji, Mozang, Lytton Road and various residential and commercial areas of Lahore.
Currently, the graveyard is 99.9 per cent full, having nearly 650,000 graves. It also has separate portions for Christian people’s graves and the unidentified.
Some of the famous personalities buried here include Saadat Hasan Manto, Munno Bhai, Ilm Din, Maj Shabbir Sharif, actress Firdaus, actor Ijaz Durrani, Gul Bahar Begum, Musa Janbaz, Ahmad Ali Lahori, Wasif Ali Wasif, politicians, bureaucrats, journalists and people from other walks of life.
“The graveyard has a 400-year-old grave of Haji Noor Muhammad, who is said have given a loan to Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. We have also started preparing a list of all known personalities following instructions given by the DC and other senior officials,” Bashir Ahmad, the graveyard’s admin officer and a management committee member, told Dawn. “The graveyard is presently full and has no space for more bodies.”
Ahmad says Lahore houses about 450 registered graveyards, including the recently developed Shehr-i-Khamoshan. However, Miani Sahib is the oldest and biggest one in terms of the number of people buried here.
“But the biggest graveyard in terms of area is situated in Thatta district of Sindh,” he added.
He further said the graveyard committee charged Rs10,500 for each burial that included Rs9,500 for the grave digger and Rs1,000 as official fee. “Around 20 to 25 bodies are brought here daily,” he claimed.
Published in Dawn, May 12th, 2021