ISLAMABAD, Jul 21 (APP): Nation celebrated Eid ul-Azha, the Fest of the Sacrifice or great sacrifice, on Wednesday with great religious zeal and fervor while trying to adhere to coronavirus restrictions for the second year in a row amid threats of fresh Covid-19 cases.
The day was marked with the sacrifice of an animal, usually a goat, sheep or cow, and the distribution of the meat among neighbours, family members and the poor. Eid ul-Azha was one of the most significant Islamic festivals. It commemorates the willingness of Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) to sacrifice his son in order to submit to the will of Allah Almighty.
The day dawned with special prayers in mosques for the well-being of the Ummah and progress, prosperity, safety and security of the country. Special prayers offered for the eradication of Corona virus and unity of Muslims all over the world. Religious scholars, in their Eid sermons highlighted the importance to follow the Sunnah of Hazrat Ibrahim (AS).
Radio and television channels were also airing special programmes during the Eid days.
The government had advised the faithful to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for containing the COVID-19 while performing the ritual of sacrificing animals. While offering Eid prayers, they should keep distance, and avoid hugging and instead extend only greetings.
A very few devotees were seen offering prayers in mosques in compliance with Covid-19 guidelines of masking and social distancing, while a vast majority took an ostrich approach to comply with the instructions of the government.
President Dr. Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan in their separate messages on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha have said that without spirit of sacrifice, a nation cannot aspire to achieve goal of development.
President Dr. Arif Alvi urged the people to continue raising their guard against the fourth wave of coronavirus by strictly observing all standard operating procedures to contain its further spread.
Prime Minister Imran Khan in his message said it was the passion which helped the Pakistani nation to save itself from the global coronavirus pandemic with wisdom, national strategy and patience.
In the federal capital, the Islamabad Police made special security arrangements for protection of devotees. Walk through gates were installed at entry points of Masajid and Imambargahs and vigilance were ensured with the help of safe city cameras.
Bomb Disposal squad conducted checking of various areas and not allowed parking near worship places or congregation. Reserved force, Falcon and Bravo vehicles performed patrolling duties in their respective areas.
The main Eid congregation was held at the Faisal Mosque. President Dr Arif Alvi offered Eid-ul-Azha prayer at the Faisal mosque with complete observance of coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Deputy speaker National Assembly Qasim Suri, senator Faisal Javed and other parliamentarians, along with a number of worshippers also offered prayer.
Later, the president exchanged Eid greetings with the people by strictly observing social distancing.
President Dr Arif Alvi along with Begum Samina Alvi visited Dar-ul-Ehsaas orphanage and exchanged Eid greetings with the children. They also visited Pakistan institute of Medical sciences (PIMS) to inquire after the health of patients.
He stressed upon the children to work hard and take care of each other, besides, developing qualities of speaking truth.
The Rawalpindi Waste Management Company deployed 3,539 workers including some 3,225 workers in Rawalpindi and Murree while 314 workers were performing their duties in Taxila, Kahuta, Kalar Syedan and Gujar Khan tehsils to ensure proper quick disposal of animal waste.
A total of 413 vehicles were being used for Eid cleanliness operations. Loaders and dumpers were also being used in Murree, Gujar Khan, Taxila, Kalar Syedan and Kahuta tehsils. As many as 12 permanent and 26 temporary waste transfer stations had been set up in the district.
Over 3,000 security personnel deployed in Rawalpindi to provide security to Eid congregations, Mosques, Imambargahs, public places and other important buildings to thwart any untoward incident.
Nearly 2,700 police personnel ensured security at public places, Eidgahs, markets, parks and other places. Some 300 cops were deputed in Murree for the purpose. Over 600 Wardens and Traffic officers were deployed in main city areas and Murree to avoid traffic mess.
Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) deployed 800 sanitary workers, 22 sanitary supervisors and four public health officers to ensure cleanliness during Eid holidays. Over 144 vehicles including dumpers, tractor trolleys, pick ups, compactors, trucks, excavators, with a large number of hand-carts would be used to remove garbage, entrails of animals and offal from all Cantonment areas. The Cantonment had distributed over 25,000 garbage bags among the residents, besides establishing 10 garbage transfer points in different areas.
Over 400 rescuers of Punjab Emergency Service, Rescue 1122 Rawalpindi performed special duties in Rawalpindi district.
In Lahore, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar offered Eid-ul-Adha prayer here at historic Badshahi Mosque.
Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee Chairman Maulana Abdul Khabeer Azad led the Eid prayers.
In Peshawar, main Eid congregation was held at Markazi Eid Gah while other congregations were held at Masjid Mohabat Khan, Bagh-e-Naran Haytabad, Qasim Ali Khan, Sunehri
Masjid, Faizane Madina Gulberg, and Makki Masjid Gorgathtree.Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan offered Eid ul Azha prayer at CM Secretariat.
In Karachi the main Eid congregation was held at Gulshan-e-Jinnah and Memon mosque. Sindh, Governor Imran Ismail offered Eid-ul-Azha prayer at the mosque of Governor House.
Sindh Chief Minister Sayed Murad Ali Shah offered Eid-ul-Azha prayer at his ancestral village Wahur near Sehwan Sharif.
In Quetta, Eid prayers were offered at more than 200 places including Masajids, Eidgahs, open places and Imambargahs. Governor Balochistsn Syed Zahoor Ahmed Agha offered Eid prayer at Governor House in Quetta today while Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan celebrated Eid in Quetta.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa spent Eid with troops stationed near Pak-Afghan international border in Kurram district. Eid was also celebrated in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan with traditional zeal.
In Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K), the devotees could not offer Eid prayers due to continued military siege and restrictions imposed by the authorities at big mosques in Indian illegally Occupied Jammu Kashmir(IIOJK) on Eid-ul-Azha.