LAHORE - All arrangements for the first phase of the annual Tableeghi Jamaat congregation have been completed and the three-day event near Raiwind is starting from Friday (tomorrow).

The gathering, which is regarded as the biggest after Hajj, will conclude on Sunday before Zohr prayers with a collective prayer by participants from all over the country. A large number of people have already reached the venue and more are on the way.  The Pakistan Railways is operating special trains to facilitate the participants. The Lahore Transport Company is also running a shuttle service.

For the last few years, the three-day annual convention has been divided into two phases due to administrative and security reasons. In the first phase, people from interior Sindh, Lahore, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Dir, Peshawar, Swat and Haripur to Gilgit are participating, while in the second phase those from Karachi, Quetta and entire Balochistan, Bahawalpur, Multan, DI Khan, Rawalpindi-Islamabad, Bannu, Kohat and Mardan will join the event. Apart from that, participants coming from across the world have been accommodated according to their convenience and travel schedule. Various dignitaries and politicians will visit the congregation. Though no official statement was issued by the Jamaat, it is likely the congregation will begin with the sermon of Maulana Zubair Hasan, the head of the Tableeghi Jamaat of India. Several other noted scholars will also deliver sermons.

On Friday, noted speakers like Maulana Muhammad Saad (India), Maulana Mohammad Ahmad Laat (India) and Maulana Tariq Jamil are scheduled to address the participants.

Lahore Traffic Police has developed a special traffic plan while law and order agencies are keeping an eye on external security. The internal security of the congregation will be handed over to volunteers of the Jamaat.