Sufi Festivals: Devotees flock to Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s 114th urs
MULTAN: Devotees descended upon Kot Mithan in Rajanpur on Sunday for the 114th urs of sufi poet Khawaja Ghulam Fareed.
More than 300 police personnel were deputed around the tomb for security.
However, several dozens devotees protested against the deployment at and around the mausoleum and on roads leading to the tomb. These visitors and some descendants of the shrine’s caretakers wore black armbands to register their protest against more police “than was required”
Amir Koreja, one of the caretakers, accused the government of undermining the Sufism’s message of peace.
“How can a government in alliance with banned militant organisations do better?” he asked. The two, he added, were two ends of a rope.
Aun Naqvi, a devotee from Alipur told The Express Tribune that it was “frustrating to see so many policemen”. He said while some security was necessary, the excessive deployment actually caused a feeling of insecurity.
Saeen Zahoor, a poet from Larkana, said he had come all the way to attend the urs. He said that the sufi culture rejected terrorism and fanaticism.
“Seeing so many policemen around the tomb of a sufi, I feel we have been defeated,” he said.
Fareed’s current successor Khawaja Mueenuddin Koreja earlier washed the mausoleum with rose water.
Later, talking to The Express Tribune, regretted that the people had failed to carry the sufi message forward.
He condemned the terrorist attack on the Hazara community in Quetta on Saturday.
Acting District Police Officer Ameer Abdullah told The Express Tribune that the police could not shut their eyes to the security situation on account of rampant terrorism in the country.
“We are aware of the inconcinience casued to the visitors, but for us saving their lives is more important.”
Auqaf Minister Haji Ehsaanuddin Qureshi was one of the visitors on Sunday.
A sufi conference was held on the occasion. It was followed by recitation of Fareed’s kaafis.
No food or souvenir stalls have been allowed this year for security reasons.
The urs will continue till Tuesday.
Khwaja Ghulam Fareed was a Chishti sufi. He was born and later died at Chacharan Sharif, but was buried at Kot Mithan. He was well versed in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Sindhi, Punjabi, Braj Bhasha, and Seraiki. He wrote primarily in Seraiki and Urdu, but also has poems in Sindhi, Persian, and Braj Bhasha. He was opposed to British rule in Bahawalpur.