Friday, June 29, 2007

At Baba Chamliyal the Weapons Are Laid Down

KONS - Kashmir Observer - Srinagar, India

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Pak-Indian Border Guards join for prayers at a Sufi Shrine
Jammu: Tens of thousands of devotees converged on the shrine of a Sufi saint on India-Pakistan International border in Kashmir's Jammu province on Thursday and offered prayers.

Thursday marked the annual fair at the shrine of Baba Chamliyal which lies on the zero line of the heavily militarized India-Pakistan border in Ramgarh sector.

Besides citizens, soldiers of both the rival countries laid down their weapons for the day and joined in prayers and offered sweets and holy sherbet to each other.

The fair, an annual feature, brings together officers from both the countries deployed on the international border where Pak rangers hand over ‘Chaddar’ to be laid on the tomb of Baba on behalf of devotees from Pakistan and in return receive offerings of sweet and sherbaat for the devotees who anxiously wait to cross over the zero line.

Dressed in colourful dresses, riding on top of the buses and bullock carts, devotees of Baba Chamliyal thronged the shrine to pay their obeisance since early morning. Rough estimates suggested over one hundred thousand devotees visited the shrine during the day, president of the managing committee, Billo Choudhary told Kashmir Observer.

The Pakistan team was led by Colonel Mehmood, commandent II wing of Chenab Regiment. He was accompanied by several senior officers and their family members and close friends.

The Pak army officer was given a warm reception by Indian border guards at a special ceremony where he handed over a green "Chaddar” to DIG BSF G.S. Virk and received a picture showcasing shrine.

Pakistanis consider Baba Chamlyal a Muslim mystic while Indians believe he belonged to Hindu faith.

Col Mehmood told mediamen inside a temporary structure on Zero line "People on both sides of the border want to live in peace. It is because of ongouing peace process between the two countries we are celebrating such occasions".

He said that "We hope that peace will continue. As the peace process further progresses it will generate love there by narrowing down the distance between the two sides."

His counterpart, DIF BSF G.S.Virk said "We feel relaxed on the border because of the peace process. There has been no violation of ceasefire from either side which is a good omen."

Large number of devotees who reached shrine to find cure of their skin ailments were seen taking a bath with the well water after massaging the affected portion of skin with the clay, which they believe has curative effect. Others carried water and clay to Pakistan.

As a goodwill gesture the Indian border guards later filled two trollies of clay and two water tankers and handed them over to members of Chenab Rangers for distribution among several thousand people who had assmbled across the border.

The officials of the Chenab Rangers said that "At least one lakh [a hundred thousand] people have assembled across the border and were waiting for tabaruk [blessing].

1 comment:

irving said...

Wonderful story :)

Friday, June 29, 2007

At Baba Chamliyal the Weapons Are Laid Down
KONS - Kashmir Observer - Srinagar, India

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Pak-Indian Border Guards join for prayers at a Sufi Shrine
Jammu: Tens of thousands of devotees converged on the shrine of a Sufi saint on India-Pakistan International border in Kashmir's Jammu province on Thursday and offered prayers.

Thursday marked the annual fair at the shrine of Baba Chamliyal which lies on the zero line of the heavily militarized India-Pakistan border in Ramgarh sector.

Besides citizens, soldiers of both the rival countries laid down their weapons for the day and joined in prayers and offered sweets and holy sherbet to each other.

The fair, an annual feature, brings together officers from both the countries deployed on the international border where Pak rangers hand over ‘Chaddar’ to be laid on the tomb of Baba on behalf of devotees from Pakistan and in return receive offerings of sweet and sherbaat for the devotees who anxiously wait to cross over the zero line.

Dressed in colourful dresses, riding on top of the buses and bullock carts, devotees of Baba Chamliyal thronged the shrine to pay their obeisance since early morning. Rough estimates suggested over one hundred thousand devotees visited the shrine during the day, president of the managing committee, Billo Choudhary told Kashmir Observer.

The Pakistan team was led by Colonel Mehmood, commandent II wing of Chenab Regiment. He was accompanied by several senior officers and their family members and close friends.

The Pak army officer was given a warm reception by Indian border guards at a special ceremony where he handed over a green "Chaddar” to DIG BSF G.S. Virk and received a picture showcasing shrine.

Pakistanis consider Baba Chamlyal a Muslim mystic while Indians believe he belonged to Hindu faith.

Col Mehmood told mediamen inside a temporary structure on Zero line "People on both sides of the border want to live in peace. It is because of ongouing peace process between the two countries we are celebrating such occasions".

He said that "We hope that peace will continue. As the peace process further progresses it will generate love there by narrowing down the distance between the two sides."

His counterpart, DIF BSF G.S.Virk said "We feel relaxed on the border because of the peace process. There has been no violation of ceasefire from either side which is a good omen."

Large number of devotees who reached shrine to find cure of their skin ailments were seen taking a bath with the well water after massaging the affected portion of skin with the clay, which they believe has curative effect. Others carried water and clay to Pakistan.

As a goodwill gesture the Indian border guards later filled two trollies of clay and two water tankers and handed them over to members of Chenab Rangers for distribution among several thousand people who had assmbled across the border.

The officials of the Chenab Rangers said that "At least one lakh [a hundred thousand] people have assembled across the border and were waiting for tabaruk [blessing].

1 comment:

irving said...

Wonderful story :)