LAHORE The first phase of the second largest Muslim congregation after Haj began at Raiwind on Thursday afternoon amid tight security. Many emotional and spiritual scenes were witnessed at the start of the annual congregation as hundreds of thousands of Muslims from across the globe converged at Raiwind to spread the message of peace, equality and brotherhood in the light of the Holy Quran and Sunnah. This year the congregation has been divided into two phases. The congregation in first phase commenced from December 2 to 5 while the second session will begin from December 9 to 12. About one million people of different ages from more than 60 countries including Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, UK, Kuwait, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia and India have reached the vast Pindal (large ground fixed for massive congregation) and ensured their presence in inaugural prayers. The Pindal has further been divided into thousands of Halqas (small grounds encircled with plastic sheets having thousands of faithful in each Halqa). It seems I have entered into the world of peace and spiritualism, where there is no superior except Almighty Allah, a 17-year-old Umar Gull of Peshawar commented. According to him, the speakers were delivering special lectures over those aspects of life, which the most of the people have forgotten considering them minor. They say, he added, if a Muslim spends his routine life following the footprints of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) then each work of his every day would be converted into Neki (good deed). Earlier, police made foolproof security arrangements for three-day annual congregation of Tableeghi Jamaat as t least 1500 police personnel have been deployed around the venue at various points to check the entry of suspected persons. The administration has also deployed hundreds of volunteers on various routes to keep a vigilant eye on the activities of the miscreants. The Lahore traffic police have made special arrangements to clear the vehicular traffic in the shortest possible time. The police have also set up special parking lots with the capacity of 20,000 vehicles near the site of the Raiwind congregation. Talking to this scribe, the Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) SSP Syed Ahmed Mobin said three SPs, 10 DSPs, 36 Inspectors and 950 traffic wardens have been deployed specifically at the routes of the participants to ensure smooth flow of traffic. He said the traffic police have also set up wireless control rooms and camps to facilitate the participants. According to the traffic plan, the police would divert the traffic from the busy routes and special routes have been identified for the participants so that they could reach their destination without traffic hurdles.