LAHORE - The 966th 3-day annual Urs of Ali bin Usman Hajveri (RA) commonly known as Data Ganj Bakhsh will commence on Wednesday (today) after Zohr prayers. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif will inaugurate the Urs programmes by laying the floral wreath at the shrine. Eminent ulema and mashaikh, senior officials of Auqaf and a large number of devotees will attend the ceremony. The chief minister will also open the milk sabeel adjacent to the darbar complex. Special structures have been erected for the milk sabeel where gowalas of Lahore and Punjab will bring the pure milk to serve the devotees. The first day ceremonies also include mehfil-e-naat, speeches by ulema at the darbar mosque, which will continue till midnight followed by distribution of lungar and prayers for the solidarity and integrity of Pakistan. A grand mehfil-e-sama will commence from Thursday (tomorrow) at 10:00am in the morning at 'Samah hall of the Data Darbar Complex specially decorated for the purpose. Punjab Minister for Auqaf Haji Ihsanuddin Qureshi, Secretary Auqaf Najam Saeed, Director General Religious Affairs Auqaf Mohammad Shabbir Malik and Chairman Religious Purposes Committee Data Darbar, Senator Ishaq Dar will be guests of honour. The mehfil-e-sama will continue round the clock for two days where qawwals from all-over the country and abroad will perform. Former MNA and Chairman Samah Committee Ch Zulfiquar Ali will supervise the 'samah programmes. The government has declared local holiday on the last day of the Urs. Meanwhile Auqaf department has made foolproof security arrangements and various facilities for the convenience of the devotees. Other departments of the Punjab Government are collaborating with Auqaf for smooth Urs ceremonies. The local traders and merchants from all over the province have set up bazaars at the darbar vicinity where they have brought handicrafts and products of various regions for sale. The Auqaf has put restrictions on illegal and unIslamic activities during the Urs and banned all kinds of circuses and theatres.