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Ajmer priests refused donation from Pakistan PM

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Ajmer priests refused donation from Pakistan PM
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New Delhi: Priests at the dargah of Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti refused a donation from Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf when he visited the 800-year-old Sufi shrine in Ajmer.

"The prime minister wanted to offer 'nazrana' (donation) at the dargah. But we told the Pakistan high commission that any nazrana by the dignitary will not be accepted," Wahid Mian Chisti said.

The secretary of the Anjuman Khadims said on telephone from Ajmer that the refusal had nothing to do with the boycott of Ashraf's visit by the Diwan of the dargah, Zainul Abedin Ali Khan.

Chisti said all religious heads and priests, barring Zainul Abedin, were at the dargah when the Pakistani leader came with his delegation Saturday.

The priests offered headgear to Ashraf before entering the dargah.

Ashraf offered a velvet 'chadar' and floral tributes at the mausoleum. He remained at the dargah for about 20 minutes along with his wife Nusrat and some 20 members of his team.

Ashraf is said to have prayed for global peace and prosperity, especially for Pakistan.

Chisti said a lot of controversy was generated when Pakistan President Asif Zardari offered $1 million at the dargah last year.

It took several months to get the amount. Most importantly, there was a dispute among various factions at the dargah on sharing the donation. The matter was later settled.

Chisti said the priests did not want to give the impression that money matters for them.

"Our job is to propagate the teachings of Khawja Moinuddin Chisti and render all possible help to pilgrims visiting the shrine," he said.

IANS

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