ISLAMABAD, Sept 13 (APP): The nation Tuesday celebrated Eid-ul-Azha with religious zest and traditional fervour to commemorate the supreme sacrifice of Prophet Hazrat Ibrahim (AS).
The day dawned with special prayers in mosques for the well-being of the Muslim Ummah and progress, prosperity and security of the country.
Thousands of congregations were held at mosques, Eidgahs, Imambargahs and open places in cities, towns and villages across the country to offer Eid prayers.
Federal and provincial governments had chalked out elaborate security arrangements across the country to ward off untoward incidents.
The local administrations in cities had made special arrangements to ensure cleanliness, especially removal of offals during Eid days.
Thousands of sanitary workers remained on duty to keep the cities and towns clean. The local administrations had arranged for vehicles to transport the animal waste.
Police had made elaborate security arrangements and thousands of policemen were deployed to safeguard places of worship and important places during the Eid festivities.
People visited graves of their relatives especially those who recently passed away and offered prayers for them.
During these Eid days, people keep visiting relatives to exchange greetings and distribute sacrificial meat. Huge quantities of meat was also given to the poor as ordained by Islam, which stresses on taking care of needy relatives, neighbours and the poor.
Many people visited picnic spots and hill resorts like Murree to hold barbeque parties and enjoy time with family and friends.
Special meat dishes were cooked at homes to celebrate the occasion.
The administration kept an eye on individuals and groups who were carrying out an extensive campaign to collect animal hides – a very lucrative business during the Eid days.
Many at homes stayed glued to their television screens to watch special Eid programmes in which celebrities and artists entertained their audiences.
In the federal capital, the main congregation was held at Faisal Mosque where federal ministers and parliamentarians present in Islamabad alongwith diplomats of the Muslim countries, notables and thousands of faithful offered Eid prayers.
After offering their prayers, Muslims slaughtered their sacrificial animals including bulls, cows, goats, sheep and camels.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif offered Eidul Azha prayer at his Jati Umra residence in Raiwind. Later, he mingled with the PML-N workers and exchanged greetings with them on the auspicious occasion of the Eid.
Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervez Rashid, the prime minister’s family members including son Hussain Nawaz, nephews Hamza Shahbaz and Salman Shahbaz, MNA Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar and a large number of PML-N workers accompanied him in the prayer.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif offered Eid prayers with Army and Frontier Corps troops in Bajaur Agency.
Punjab Governor Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana offered Eid prayer at Badshahi Mosque and Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif at Model Town in Lahore.
Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Iqbal Zafar Jhagra offered Eid prayer at Governor’s House in Peshawar and Chief Minister Pervez Khattak in his ancestral villages in Noshwera district.
In Karachi, the main Eid congregation was held at Gulshan-i-Jinnah (Old Polo Ground) where Acting President and Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani, Sindh Governor D. Ishrat ul Ebad Khan, Deputy Mayor of Karachi Arshad Vohra, notables and members of the Diplomatic Corps offered their Eid prayer.
In Quetta, Eid prayers were offered at over 200 places while the main Eid prayer congregation was held at Eidgah Toghi Road. Governor Balochistan Muhammad Khan Achakzai celebrated Eid-ul-Azha at his native town Gulistan.
Speaker Balochistan Assembly Raheela Hameed Khan Durrani celebrated Eid in Quetta.
Eid-ul-Azha was also celebrated in Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Main Eid congregation was held at Markazi EidGah Masjid Khadem-e-Harmain Shareefain in Muzaffarabad.
Addressing the Eid Congregation AJK Prime Minster Raja Farooq Haider Khan said that people and governments of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir would never forget the valient people of Indian occupied Kashmir who were rendering unprecedented sacrifices for their freedom.
AJK President Sardar Muhammad Masood Khan offered Namaz-e-Eid at his native town Kot Mattey Khan in Rawalakot.
In Gilgit, Eid prayers were offered at Konodas Eidgah, Eidgah Jamia Imamia and Shah Karim Hostel.