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3 months on, Ajmer dargah awaits Zardari's promised donation

PTI  Jaipur, July 15, 2012
First Published: 19:41 IST(15/7/2012) | Last Updated: 20:18 IST(15/7/2012)

Three months after Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari announced $1 million donation for Ajmer dargah during his visit to the country, the shrine authorities are still waiting for the release of the money.

Zardari visited the holy shrine of Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer on April 8 and a member of his delegation had on his behalf announced the donation for the welfare of the dargah.

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"The donation has not been delivered so far," Syed Wahid Hussain Chisti, secretary of Anjuman Committee, a representative body of Khadims (priests), told PTI.

"Officials from the High Commission of Pakistan came to us after Zardari's visit and discussed with us our developmental plans.

"On their invitation, I went to the Pak High Commission last month where they again discussed the development plans," he said.

"I apprised them that we use the donation for welfare activities but did not submit specific plan for Zardari's donation because we did not go to Zardari to seek the donation," he said.

"We are not asking for the donation but when Zardari has made a promise, he should keep it," he said.

Along with the Khadim's body, the dargah committee has also staked claim on the donation for the development of the dargah, sources said.

Pakistan High Commission sources said in Delhi that there has been a delay in release of money beacuse "we were waiting for the dargah committee to submit the plans on how they plan to use the money".

"The entire thing is on. A soon as we get the plans on how they plan to utilise the money, we will will release it," they said.

"The donation was announced for development of the shrine so we will submit our plans. Officials from Pakistan Embassy will again arrive here and we will give them detailed plan of our projects," Sohail Ahemad Khan, President of the dargah committee, said.

"We have to build hospital, shelter homes and other facilities for which the money will be used," he told PTI from Patna.

He said that he will arrive here in a week or two and prepare the plan.

Mohammad Afzal, officiating secretary of the dargah committe, said there is nothing in written about the donation.

"We have no written communication about the donation (to whom it will go) and we have not submitted any plan so far," Afzal, a deputy secretary rank official of the Centre, said.

The dargah committee is appointed by the Indian government for the management of the dargah.


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