The three-day celebrations of 972nd annual Urs of Hazrat Ali bin Usman Hajveri known as Data Ganj Bakhsh began on Tuesday led by Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar while Provincial Minister for Auqaf and Religious Affairs, Mian Ata Muhammad Manika and other officials and elite were also present.
The finance minister inaugurated the three-day festivities by laying floral wreath and inaugurating the milk Sabeel at the shrine of the 10th century saint, who was among the pioneers of preaching and spreading Islam in the sub-continent, particularly in Punjab. As per traditions, the milk seller community brought thousands of litres of milk as a donation for the milk Sabeel which was distributed among the devotees and visitors. Millions of devotees and visitors from all parts of the country came to witness the Urs and offered special prayers. Groups of devotees and volunteers led by spiritual leaders kept arriving at the well-illuminated shrine marching on the drum beats and reciting Na’ats and hymns during the past two days. Bringing their bed and baggage for the next three days, they thronged the shrine’s courtyard and verandahs laying mats and sheets. Large number of philanthropists provided them free food (Langar) as a part of worship. The district administration has taken all necessary measures to maintain peace and security during the Urs. After laying the wreath, special prayers were offered for solidarity and security of the country and success of Zarb-e-Azb military operation against terrorists.
Talking to journalists, Provincial Minister Mian Ata Maneka said that the teachings of Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh are a beacon of light for the Muslims. He said the best arrangements had been made for the devotees on Urs and foolproof security arrangements made for protection of life and properties of devotees. He said that special care had been taken for providing food to devotees and meal was also being distributed by the government.