KARACHI: Eid-ul-Azha is being celebrated all over Pakistan with due religious fervour on Saturday, with prayers for the special occasion offered at hundreds of mosques, Imambargahs, and other places countrywide.
Muslims observing the Eid, after offering their prayers, performed the sacred ritual of slaughtering sacrificial animals in commemoration of Hazrat Ibrahim’s (AS) sacrifice.
“Today, we are here to offer Eid prayers,” said worshipper Saleem Ahmed at a ceremony in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city. “The security arrangements were very good. May Allah approve our prayers.”
At the same time, many continued to throng livestock markets — many of which had popped up on the outskirts of various major cities — to purchase their sacrificial animals.
It is tradition for those who can afford it to sacrifice domestic animals as a symbol of Hazrat Ibrahim’s (AS) willingness to sacrifice his only son.
The result is a booming pre-holiday trade in goats, cows and sheep. In Pakistan alone, nearly 10 million animals, worth more than $3 billion, are slaughtered during the two days of Eid al-Adha, according to the Pakistan Tanners’ Association.
“We are presenting sacrifices to follow the path of the prophet Ibrahim. We should not forget our poor and needy Muslim brethren on this occasion,” Karachi resident Mohamad Muzammil said at the prayer ground where cows and goats were being slaughtered.
Eid-ul-Azha marks the end of an annual Hajj, or pilgrimage to Makkah, which is one of the five pillars of Islam, and should be undertaken by every Muslim who can afford to do so.
In Islamabad, the main Eid congregation was held at Faisal Mosque where Federal Ministers, politicians and parliamentarians, Muslim diplomats and notables joined thousands of faithful in prayers.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi offered the Eid prayers at PM House mosque, while President Mamnoon Hussain attended prayers at Karachi guest house.
Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif offered prayers at Raiwind, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, former president Asif Ali Zardari in Nawabshah, PTI chairman at Nathiagali, opposition leader Khursheed Shah in Sukkur and JI chief Siraj-ul-Haq in Lahore.
In Peshawar, the main congregation of Eid-ul-Azha was held at Eidgah Charsadda Road.
In Muzaffarabad, the main Eid congregation was held at Markazi Eid-Gah.
Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Muhammad Masood Khan offered Namaz-e-Eid at his native town Chowgali Kot Mattey Khan in Rawalakot, while Prime Minster Raja Farooq Haider Khan offered Eid prayer at Muzaffarabad.
In Gilgit, the main prayer gathering was held in Imamia Eid Gah Jutial, Ahlesunnat Eid Gah Konodas and Shah Karim Hostel Konodas.
Message from President, Prime Minister
In his message on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, President Mamnoon Hussain said Hajj and Eid-ul-Azha are two obligations which are based on the spirit of self-sacrifice.
He said everyone should remember in their prayers all those who sacrificed their lives for the future of the country.
The President also urged the nation to offer special prayers for Kashmiri brethren who are struggling to win freedom from India.
Dr. Musadik Malik — the spokesperson to the Prime Minister — extended Hajj and Eid felicitation to the masses on behalf of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
During a press conference at the Lahore Press Club, Malik said, “Eid-ul-Azha gives a message of sacrifice and amity, and the people must remember the poor in the joys of Eid.”
The spokesperson said the PM had shown concern over Karachi’s situation, given the weather conditions, and expressed deep grief over the loss of precious human lives. He noted that 16 buildings collapsed in the city, while 15 people lost their lives due to electrocution, collapsing of roofs, and drowning incidents.
The prime minister, according to Malik, has directed all the federal departments to extend full support to the provincial and local governments in Karachi.
He said some 267 people had been rescued from different rain-hit areas in Karachi so far.
Army chief wishes nation happy Eid-ul Azha
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa extended greetings to the nation on the occasion of Eid-ul Azha on Saturday.
According to a tweet by Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Major General Asif Ghafoor, the army chief wished the country on behalf of the armed forces.
“”Eid-ul-Azha gives us message of peace, happiness, fraternity and selfless sacrifice for humanity”, said the COAS, the tweet mentioned.
Water and waste management
The Solid Waste Management Company has alerted its staff to take away offal and later bury it in open fields outside of and far from residential places.
In addition, the Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) has taken special measures for continuous water supply to the citizens on Eid days. An official told APP that a special cell has been established to deal with emergency complaints about any possible suspension of water supply.
The official explained that the staff’s vacation has been cancelled in order to ensure continuous water supply.
Traffic police, on the other hand, has chalked out a plan for smooth flow of traffic, especially on Eid night.
Meanwhile, Sindh Home Minister Suhail Anwar Siyal has directed police and other law enforcement agencies to ensure extraordinary security on Eid-ul-Azha.
In a statement, Siyal asked the police to remain vigilant in order to make sure no unfortunate incident takes place on this festive day.
Siyal said it was imperative to keep a check on the banned outfits and not allow them to collect sacrificial hides. “Home Department has issued —Code of Conduct — for the collection of hides and imposed Section 144 to avoid any untoward incident.
“It is, therefore, the responsibility of the police to ensure implementation at all levels and violators be dealt with strictly according to law”, he urged.
Additional IG Karachi, in a report submitted to Home Minister, stated that all arrangements were finalised to ensure foolproof security at mosques, Imambargahs, and open places serving as the Eidgahs.
According to a report submitted to Home Minister, the police is present at almost 800 hides collection camps and more than 220 places in Karachi where collective slaughtering of sacrificial animals will take place.
It was further mentioned that over 16,000 Karachi Police personnel would be on duty, whereas additional police force from SSU, SRP, and RRF will be available to enhance the security measures.