LAHORE - The first phase of the annual Raiwind congregation will begin tomorrow (Thursday).

Law and order agencies and transport departments have made special arrangements for the 3-day Tablighi Ijtima.

Thousands of people from Lahore, Kasur, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sialkot, Sheikhupura, Hafizabad, Narowal, Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Jhang, Mandi Bahauddin, Okara, Sahiwal, Pakpattan, Sargodha, Khushab, Bhakkar and Mianwali from Punjab; Peshawar, Swat, Nowshera, Charsadda, Khyber Agency, Mohmand Agency, Landi Kotal, Malakand (North), Bunair, Batkhela, Martung, Bajour, Dir, Chitral, Utmankhel, Gilgat, Bisham, Chilas, Mansehra, Abbotabad, Haripur from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; and Hyderabad, Shikarpur, Dadu, Ghotki, Larkana, Nawabshah, Tharparkar, Mitthi, Sangar, Sukkur and Thatta from Sindh will attend the congregation in first phase while the people from the rest of cities will attend the congregation in second phase which will start on November 12.

Pakistan Railways is operating four special trains to facilitate the participants of the annual congregation. Pakistan Railways Police has made special security arrangement at Raiwind Railways Station.

The Lahore Transport Company has taken over the responsibility for providing transportation to the participants to the congregation in alliance with the private operators. It will operate special mini buses to facilitate the commuters for participation in Raiwand congregation from November 5 to 8 and then from November 12 to 15. The LTC also realigned existing routes for the smooth operation of public transport.

In accordance with operation plan Mini Buses will operate in parallel on two different route alignments. Route 1 will commence from General Bus Stand Railway Station via Dharampura, Canal Road, Muslim Town Mor, Thokar Niaz Baig, Bhobtian Chowk, and Muhammad Ali Chowk to Raiwand. Whereas in accordance with Route No. 2 mini bus service will start from General Bus Stand Azadi Chowk via Civil Secretariat, Chuburji, Samnabad Moor, Yateem Khana, Thokar Niaz Baig and Bhobtian Chowk to Raiwand congregation. The operations department will remain in close liaison with the allied departments and transport operators during Raiwand Ijtima.

The Punjab government had already computerized record of Raiwind Tableeghi congregation participants in the wake of the prevailing law and order situation in the country.

The participants would keep special forms which were already sent to them through their relevant district management. The forms will be filled with all personal details.