Rawalpindi 100-kanal graveyard for minorities under the Shehr-i-Khamoshan project here at Rakh Dhamial would be properly operational within 15 days, Commissioner Rawalpindi Division Liaquat Ali Chatha said during his visit of Rakh Dhamial graveyard where he inspected the facilities available in the cemetery. The commissioner was briefed about the graveyard project for minorities during his visit.
The Punjab government allocated 1000-kanal land for graveyards of which 900-kanal land was allocated for Muslim graveyard and 100-kanal land was allocated for minorities graveyard. Muslim graveyard has been completed while over 90 per cent work of minority graveyard has been completed. The Commissioner Rawalpindi Division Liaquat Ali Chatha said that the graveyards in the city are full and Rakh cemetery is serving the burial needs of Rawalpindi citizens adding Rakh graveyard is an exemplary graveyard of twin cities, he added. No one would be allowed to occupy even an inch of the graveyard space, he said adding, more space would also be acquired for the graveyard. The commissioner directed the authorities concerned to open an account to meet the expenses of the cemetery. He also instructed to hire employees for the cleanliness of the graveyard. He said that the government was trying to provide full religious freedom to minorities in the country. An atmosphere of brotherhood is established by inter-faith harmony, he added.
Town Officer (Infrastructure and Services) Rafaqat Gondal and several other officers were also present here at Rakh Dhamial on the occasion.
Town Officer (I&S) Rafaqat Gondal briefed that 1,000 kanals of land have been allotted for the Rakh cemetery. Boundary walls of the graveyards have been completed besides constructing rooms for the graveyard staff. Graveyard for minorities would be completed very soon, he claimed. Buses and ambulance services are available for the burial. Punjab government reserved 100-kanal of land for minorities at that time, he said. It may be mentioned that work on the Rakh Dhamial graveyard started in 2017 during the tenure of the PMLN government. Former chief minister Shehbaz Sharif launched the Shehr-i-Khamoshan project to improve the condition of graveyards in the province. In 2021, the then-mayor Sardar Naseem allocated Rs20 million for development work at Rakh Dhamial graveyard besides purchasing three funeral buses.
Talking to ‘The News’, people (Muslim and Minorities), strongly appreciated the establishment of graveyards at Rakh Dhamial because all the graveyards in city areas have been almost full to capacity. Particularly, minorities have strongly appreciated local administration they worked day and night to complete graveyard.