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Ajmer dargah to be shut for 2 hours for Zardari

April 07, 2012 22:41 IST

A dispute over who would perform 'Ziyarat' (prayer) for Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and his delegation members in the Ajmer dargah on Sunday at the shrine of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moninuddin Chisti was resolved on Saturday night with a decision that two Khadims (clerics) will do the job.

It required the intervention of Anjuman committee, a representative body of Khadims (clerics), to end the dispute.

Syed Iqbal Kaptan Chishty, who claims to be the family Khadim of late prime minister and Zardari's slain wife Benazir Bhutto, and Saiyad Natiq Chishty, who had performed the Ziyarat when former president Pervez Musharraf and other political leaders had visited the shrine, have agreed to perform the same for Zardari jointly.

Controversies often arise over the claim of right to offer prayer during the visits of high-profile persons like film stars, politicians and head of states.

"Anjuman committee sorted out the matter. Both Kaptan chisty and Natiq Chisty will perform Ziyarat for Zardari in the shrine on Sunday," Syed Wahid Hussain Chisty, Secretary of the Committee, told PTI.

Khadims of the dargah claim be descendants of the Sufi saint and they perform the prayers inside the shrine.

On Sunday, the dargah will be vacated two hours prior to Zardari's visit and about 50 people (from dargah committee, Anjuman Committee and others) will remain present inside the dargah premises.

On Zardari's arrival at the main gate of the dargah, Nizam Gate, president and secretary of the Anjuman committee will welcome him.

He will enter the dargah from Nizam Gate from where he will reach Aastana, which is the main hall of the tomb.

After offering prayers inside the Aastana (shrine), he will go outside the Aastana from Payti gate where he will be honoured by the Anjuman committee.

The dargah committee will also honour Zardari.

"It is likely that Zardari would spend about 20 minutes inside the shrine", Anjuman committee president S H Chisty said.

 A 'Makhmali' chadar of 42-meter length and having beautiful work of Aara-Tari will be offered by Zardari.

Zardari's visit in the dargah will be the first Presidential visit from Pakistan after 2005 when Pervez Musharraf had visited the dargah in 2005 to seek the blessings of Garhib Nawaj equally revered by both Hindus and Muslims.

Besides Pervez Musharraf, former president of Pakistan Zia-ul-Haq had also visited the shrine.

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