LAHORE - Celebrations continued on the third day of Eidul Fitr Thursday, providing a rare chance of festivity to a nation mired into socio-economic muddle. After offering prayers on the first day (Tuesday), people exchanged Eid greetings and gifts with their family and friends.

At restaurants, parks and other picnic points, a huge rush of people was seen. Pleasant weather added colour to the Eid celebrations.

Millions of Muslims also prayed for the people affected by Syrian civil war, Gaza conflict, Iraq fighting and terrorism in tribal belt of Pakistan. As the nation is at war with the Taliban and their associates, authorities augmented security to avert any untoward incident. Special security steps were taken to maintain peace around mosques and Eidgahs. A monitoring cell was set up at Interior Ministry Office while police enhanced their patrols.

Most of politicians celebrated the festival in their constituencies. President Mamnoon Hussain offered Eid prayers at the Presidency where Senate Chairman Nayyar Hussain Bokhari and Federal Minister Abdul Qadir Baloch joined in. Later, the president greeted the services chief, diplomats, dignitaries and senior civil servants.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif returned from Umrah on the second day (Wednesday).

Army Chief General Raheel Sharif mark the event with his soldiers fighting terrorists in North Waziristan. Punjab Governor Ch Muhammad Sarwar, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif celebrated Eid in Lahore. The CM cancelled his visit to Bannu to share Eid greetings with IDPs due to bad weather. Shahbaz also met Sarwar at Governor’s House and discussed IDPs relief activities and other issues with the latter.  The chief minister briefed the governor about Punjab help for 40,000 displaced families of North Waziristan.

Former president Asif Ali Zardari celebrated Eid in London while PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in America.

Leader of the Opposition Syed Khursheed Shah celebrated the festival in Sukkar, Maulana Fazalur Rehman in DG Khan, JI Ameer Sirajul Haq in Dir, Dr Tahirul Qadri in Lahore, Ch Shujjat Husain and Ch Pervez Elahi in Gujrat, Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat Ibad and Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah in Karachi, Balochistan Governor Muhammad Khan Achekzai and Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch in Quetta.  No untoward occurrence took place anywhere in the country and it all passed away peacefully. Rangers were deployed at the sensitive places while unlike the previous years, cell phone service was not blocked.

The deaths of two dozen people celebrating Eid at Sea View Karachi and Gujranwala tragedy in which four children were electrocuted blurred the celebrations.