Indian pilgrims overwhelmed on receiving warm welcome at Katas Raj – Pakistan


(Clockwise from prime) Chakwal Deputy Commissioner Quratul Ain Malik presents a present to an Indian pilgrim; guests gentle earthen lamps whereas others pose for a gaggle {photograph} at Katas Raj. — Photos by the author

CHAKWAL: Hindu pilgrims from India seemed overwhelmed and excited on Friday as they obtained a warm welcome by the officers of Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) and district administration at Katas Raj.

As many as 55 Hindu pilgrims from India arrived at Katas Raj on Wednesday night the place they paid obeisance to Lord Shiva and took bathtub (Ashnan) with the water of the sacred pond of Katas Raj.

A ceremony of their honour was held at the positioning which was attended by Chakwal Deputy Commissioner (DC) Quratul Ain Malik, Assistant Commissioner Choa Saidan Shah Nadia Parveen and the ETPB officers.

Addressing the ceremony DC Quratul Ain Malik, whereas welcoming the pilgrims, mentioned: “We had eagerly waited for you. Your arrival is essential to us as it could ship a message of peace and concord.” The pilgrims reciprocated with clapping.

The DC assured the pilgrims that they might not face any drawback throughout their keep at Katas Raj. She additionally introduced items to the pilgrims.

The Chakwal administration had put in lights on the partitions of Katas Raj Temples Complex in order that the pilgrims may worship Lord Shiva throughout the evening.

The pilgrims have been left questioned by noticing that DC Chakwal and AC Choa Saidan Shah, each have been ladies, as that they had arrived in Pakistan with a distinct pondering.

“I’ve come to Pakistan for the primary time. After arriving at Katas Raj I’m feeling as if I’m in my very own nation. The love and affection we obtained listed below are unprecedented,” mentioned a lady pilgrim who additionally thanked the Punjab authorities for making correct preparations.

Talking to Dawn, DC Quratul Ain Malik mentioned: “Fifty-five pilgrims from India have arrived at Katas Raj the place they might keep until December 24.”

According to Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, 64 visas have been issued to the pilgrims. However 55 pilgrims arrived in Pakistan for per week-lengthy go to.

“The pilgrims are staying in a university the place correct preparations for his or her keep have been made,” DC Malik mentioned, including that Katas Raj Temples Complex had been cordoned off whereas foolproof safety measures have been adopted.

Regional Police Officer Syed Khurram Ali and Commissioner Rawalpindi Division Liaquat Ali Chattha together with District Police Officer retired Capt Wahid Mehmood visited the positioning on Tuesday and inspected the safety preparations.

“The go to of Indian pilgrims is necessary within the context of Pakistan-India bilateral ties,” DC Malik mentioned.

The historic Katas Raj is likely one of the two holiest websites for Hindus internationally.

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva wept inconsolably as he wandered all through the world to mourn the passing of his beloved spouse Satti. His teardrops created two ponds – one in Pushkar (Ajmer in India) and the second at Katas Raj Temples Complex.

Published in Dawn, December twenty fourth, 2023

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