31 couples joined at mass wedding
LAHORE: Twenty-six Muslim couples and five Christian couples were married at a joint wedding ceremony at the Aiwan-e-Iqbal on Sunday. This was the ninth mass wedding organised by the Punjab government.
Governor Lt General (r) Khalid Maqbool and his wife Rubina Maqbool were the hosts the event, which was attended by 2,000 guests including provincial ministers, advisors, senior civil and military officials, official of the Social Welfare Department and students of Punjab University and various girls colleges.
The wedding was paid for by Sheikh Abid Hussain, Malik Riaz and Furrukh Nawaz Chughtai. Each bride was given a dowry worth Rs 40,000 and Rs 10,000 in cash.
This was a more colourful ceremony than the last eight weddings, with guests greeted at the main entrance to the Aiwan-e-Iqbal by bright flowers. Each couple was allowed 40 guests, 20 from the bride’s side and 20 from the bridegroom’s. They were served sweets and tea.
Before the chief guest arrived, Dr Mahmoodul Hassan Arif read out the Nikah for the Muslim couples. Father Musthaq wed the five Christian couples. Most of the couples were from Lahore, Sheikhupura and Patoki.
Groups of students from the government girls high school near Governor’s House then participated in a singing competition that added to the glitz of the occasion.
Mr Chughtai, a representative of Mr Hussain and others then made speeches paying tribute to Mr Maqbool for his continuing efforts to arrange mass weddings for poor people.
Mr Maqbool thanked the Punjab government and the donors for making the “magnificent ceremony” possible. He said their help showed that social values were still around. He said apart from the joint weddings, the government’s scheme to provide small loans to young people for setting up businesses had also been a success.