LAHORE, March 18: Punjab Governor Khalid Maqbool will inaugurate the 962nd three-day annual Urs of Syed Ali bin Usman Hajveri popularly known as Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh here after the Isha prayers on Sunday (today). The governor will also inaugurate the milk ‘sabeel’ after performing the traditional chaddar laying ceremony at the grave to mark the commencement of the Urs. All the gowalas in the city district will donate milk for the ‘sabeel’ for three days.

Syed Muhammad Fasihuddin Soharwardi and Alhaj Muhammad Yousaf Memon of Karachi, Hafiz Marghoob Hamadani of Lahore, Hafiz Muhammad Husain of Kassowal, Prof Muhammad Abdur Rauf Roofi of Faisalabad and Muhammad Shahbaz Qamar Zaidi of Pakpattan Sharif will participate in the Qaumi Mahfil-i-Naaat to be held at Data Darbar Complex after the inauguration of the Urs.

Punjab Auqaf and Religious Affairs Minister Sahibzada Syed Saeedul Hassan Shah will preside and Azad Kashmir Auqaf Minister Sahibzada Muhammad Hamid Raza will be the guest of honour.

Special Mahafil-i-Naat-o-Qirat will be held at the Data Darbar Complex on Monday and Tuesday. Prominant mashaikh and qaris from all over the country and abroad will participate. A ‘Bainul Madaris Husn-i-Qirat competition and a declamentation contest will be held on Tuesday. The Urs ceremonies will conclude after the Isha prayers on Tuesday.

The provincial government has made elaborate security arrangements for the protection of hundreds of thousands of devotees expected to visit the shrine during the Urs. Video cameras have been installed at all the entries of the shrine and hundreds of officials of police and other security agencies would be deployed in the area around the shrine to keep an eye on the miscreants.

Walkthrough gates have been installed at all the entries of the shrine for detection of arms and explosiove materials. Special arrangements have also been made for the checking of motorvehicles entering the complex.

Water supply, electricity, public address system, sewerage and sanitation staff would also be on duty round-the-clock. A medical camp has also been set up at the shrine for handling the emergencies and a special squad would remove the encroachments around the complex.

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