PAKPATTAN - The 15-day-long celebrations of 770 annual Urs of Sufi saint, scholar and first Punjabi poet Hazrat Baba Fareed Uddin Masood Ganj-e-Shakar (RA) commenced here on Sunday.

Sajjada Nasheen Dewan Maudood Masood Chishti performed the inauguration wherein he prayed for the development and prosperity of the country and welfare of Muslim Ummah. Thousands of devotees from different parts of the country and abroad have started trickling into Pakpattan to attend the Urs celebrations.

On the other hand, Sahiwal Division Commissioner Qazi Muhammad Ashfaq asked the district administration and the police authorities to complete all the arrangements for (devotees) and make foolproof security arrangements for the auspicious occasion.

It is to be noted that about 2.5 million devotees both from the country and aboard are expected to turn up during the Urs celebrations who will pay homage to the great Sufi Saint who spent whole life for preaching and spreading the teachings of Islam.

Meanwhile, devotees who have reached the shrine of Sufi Saint from different Parts of the country, have blamed that the Auqaf Department had failed to make all-out arrangements for the Urs.

Overcharging, especially by the shoe-keepers and those managing toilets have irked the devotees who cursed the Auqaf Department officers for apathy and inaction to curb the malpractice.

The lack of space for parking is another issue which has been testing the patience of devotees. Syed Muhammad Ali Sabri, a devotee from Karachi told the Nation that he had been attend the Urs for the last 50 years.

However, this time, he said, he was annoyed by the Auqaf officers for noting realising the responsibility of welfare of devotees.