KARACHI: The City District Government of Karachi has chalked out an elaborate programme to facilitate the Hindu citizens celebrating the three day festival of Diwali which begins tomorrow (Thursday).
Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhter in compliance with the provincial government’s policy had already ensured advance payment of monthly salaries to Hindu employees, said an official here Wednesday.
Akhter was said to have directed the concerned departments to ensure proper cleanliness of all temples in the metropolis with special arrangements to remove encroachments from the surroundings and carpeting of streets running parallel to all temples.
This was said to help community members gain easy accessibility to their places of worship and realize their religious obligations without any difficulty.
Localities inhabited by members of the community in metropolis were also being given a certain face lift, said the official. Inspector General of Police (IGP-Sindh), AD Khowaja in his directives to DIGs serving in different districts of the province has urged them to ensure a comprehensive and efficient security plan for the three-day festival.
These police officials were also asked to dispatch their respective security plans to Operations AIGP.
Sindh Police chief said that notable citizens belonging to the Hindu community must also be involved in the arrangements made for security along with strict vigilance of any unusual development in the vicinity.
The Hindu residents of northern Sindh have concluding arrangements for the festival which began on Wednesday evening.
The main festival of Diwali will be held at the Sadhu Bela Temple with similar programmes at other small temples.
A ceremony is also scheduled to be held in the Khairpur District.
It will be attended by National Assembly (MNA) Member Nawab Khan Wassan. Hindu Council Sukkur President Mukhi Aishwar Lal said that the Hindu community settled in other parts of the northern Sindh including Ghotki, Kashmore, Shikarpur, Jaccababad and other districts had also chalked out elaborate programmes to celebrate the festival in a befitting manner.
Leader of the opposition in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, MNA Noman Islam Shaikh, MNA Dr Mahreen Bhutto, Senator Dr Abdul Qayoom Soomro and others extended greetings to the Hindu community on Diwali as well.
In their separate statements, they said that the Hindu community had played a vital role in the development of the country by presenting themselves in every critical moment. They assured them that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) would continue to play its role for the betterment and progress of the masses of Pakistan, including the minorities.
Sindh Minister for Excise and Taxation & Narcotics Control Mukesh Kumar Chawla, while congratulating Hindu community living in Sindh, said that Diwali is a festival of happiness, love and peace as well and we should share this occasion of happiness with others.
He said that all minorities living in Sindh, had complete freedom of expression and follow their religions and customs and traditions. The Hindus of Sindh province were playing their constructive and positive role for progress of Sindh and Pakistan too, he said.
He added: ‘Pakistan’s Constitution and Pakistan Peoples Party’s manifesto have given full protection to minorities and they all are busy in serving the country and the nation with full dedication’. Mukesh Kumar Chawla requested the Hindus community to participate enthusiastically for the development of Sindh and build the image of Pakistan as a peaceful country and nation.
FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS AT SHIKARPUR:
In Shikarpur, the Hindus along with their friends will celebrate Diwali with the Festival of Lights, which is is celebrated for five days.
In Shikarpur, the main ritual (Pooja) will be held at Krishna Temple. The Evacuee Trust Property Board will distribute sweets and fruits among the participants.
Pandit Jai Ram Dass, the caretaker at Krishna Temple, told APP that the worship ceremony will be held between 6pm to 8pm. “The first pooja paat will be at 7pm and then lights will be lit. Langar will also be distributed,” he said. The celebrations will conclude at 8pm due to load shedding, Pandit said.
Pandit Dassd said that Diwali was an occasion on which we should treat others the way we want others to treat us. “Our Muslim and Christian brothers will also join us to celebrate the Festival of Lights,” he added.
POWER COMPANIES ASKED FOR UNINTERRUPTED SUPPLY:
Special Assistant to Sindh Chief Minister for Minority Affairs Dr Khatu Mal Jeewan, while felicitating the Hindu community on Diwali has called upon K-Electric, HESCO and SEPCO that there should be no load shedding on Diwali especially in Hindu majority districts and areas so that the Hindu community could celebrate this festival happily and comfortably.
In a message on Wednesday, he also asked Hindus to offer special prayers for the prosperity, integrity and peace in Pakistan.
Dr Khatu Mal said that it was an occasion to renew our commitments for inter-faith harmony to eliminate extremism and terrorism from our society.
He said that Diwali was the festival of victory of light over darkness, victory of goodness over evil and victory of hope over hopelessness.
He further said that all the minority communities are free to celebrate their religious festival and practices in Sindh. He elaborated that the Sindh government is committed to providing all security measures during Diwali.
He also asked local administration, police and local bodies to ensure proper arrangements during Diwali.