Monday, November 29, 1999

Chadar offered by PM, Sonia at Ajmer dargah on Urs

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Ajmer, Jun 16 (PTI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi today offered chadar at the holy tomb of Sufi saint Hajarat Khawaja Moniuddin Chisti in Ajmer during 798th Urs. Minister of state in the PMO, Prithviraj Chavan offered the holy chadar on behalf of the PM while Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot donated chadar on behalf of Gandhi. Union Ministers Mukul Vasnik, C P Joshi, Salman Khursheed and Sachin Pilot and a host of MLAs were present at the dargah on the occasion. The week-long Urs began yesterday. It will end on June 20. In his message on the occasion, the PM said "the great Khawaja teaching that service to the poor is service to the God has inspired millions of his followers to serve the poor. It is because of his concern for the poor that he is popularly known as ''Khawaja Garib Nawaj''". The Urs at the Dargah of Khawaja sahib represents a joyful reaffirmation of the unity and secular character of the country, he said, adding the saints teaching of virtues, compassion, harmony and pluralism are relevant today. In the message sent by Gandhi which was read by Union minister Salman Khursheed she that Khwaja Saheb remains a source of great inspiration to all of us. was a life committed to the spread of the eternal message of amity and brotherhood, of social harmony and peace. More than five lakh devotees, including hundreds from Pakistan are expected to visit the holy city during the Urs. A Pakistani delegation, including four government officers, reached Ajmer this morning by a special train to participate in Urs. Leader of the delegation Sayed Ameenuddin told reporters that they are very happy to come to Ajmer on the holy occasion. He said a chadar would be offered on behalf of the Pakistan government to the holy Tomb of Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti.

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