HASSAN ABDAL: The three-day festivities in connection with Raksha Bandhan, the Hindu festival that celebrates love between brothers and sisters, concluded with the ceremony of Bhoog here on Sunday.
Since there is not a single Hindu temple in the city the festival was celebrated at the Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Hassanabdal.
The festival is celebrated by the Hindus living in both India and Pakistan in the month of Sravana. This year the three-day long celebrations were arranged by the Evacuee Trust Board (ETB).
Thousands of Hindus from all over the country participated in the festivities.
The closing ceremony was attended among others by the ETB Chairperson, Siddiqul Farooq, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly member Sardar Suran Singh and Senator Amarjeet Malhotra.
Singh and Malhotara shared common views saying festivals such as Raksha Bandhan were important in bringing people together and shed grievances.
Farooq said that promoting love was the need of the hour. He said that the government was using all resources to provide protection to the non-Muslim communities in the country.
He announced that Rs30 million would be spent on renovation of the Gurdwara Panja Sahib. Farooq said that a hydropower project was also being set up in the area.
Farooq also presented a cheque for Rs100,000 to a student Mun Veer belonging to Nankana Sahib for securing first position in matriculation exams.
He also said that funds had been allocated for talented students belonging to non-Muslim communities.
Farooq, while talking to mediapersons also said that the country was committed to facilitating the Hindus and Sikhs visiting Pakistan because “we want to keep a clear difference between politics and religion”.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2015.