Pakistan’s High Commissioner Salman Bashir, on behalf of President Asif Ali Zardari, the government and people of Pakistan, has presented a cheque for $1 million as a donation for Ajmer Sharif’s shrine, according to a press release out of New Delhi.
The donation was announced by President Zardari during his visit to Khawaja Moinuddin Chishty’s shrine at Ajmer in April this year.
The donation will be utilised for development and welfare projects, upkeep and maintenance of the shrine and provision of services for pilgrims by duly established committees and associations.
The presidents and office bearers of the associations and committees expressed their deep appreciation and profound gratitude to the president and people of Pakistan for the generous donation and assured the high commissioner that it would be utilised for development work and improving services and facilities at the shrine.
Besides members of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, the collector Ajmer and senior officials of the Ajmer administration attended the presentation ceremony. Special prayers were also offered.
The funds had sprouted a dispute between two organisations handling the management of the shrine. The two main bodies, Anjuman Syed Zadgan (an elected body of clerics) and the Dargah Committee (constituted by the government of India) both claimed to be the true beneficiary of the gift. Indian media is reporting that a closed-door meeting between the Pakistani delegation and various committees resolved the issue.
The shrine’s administrators have described the donation as one of the largest in recent years.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2012.