Rawalpindi/Islamabad-People of the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi celebrated Eid Ul Fitr with religious zeal and fervour on Wednesday and Thursday.

A rain two days before Eid turned the weather pleasant and heat-stricken people took a sigh of relief.

People, including youngsters, old and children dressed in their festive best offered Eid prayers in mosques, Imambargahs and Eid Gahs amid tight security cover prepared by the police.

All the divisional superintendents of police (SPs) and deputy superintendents of police (DSPs) including Syed Ali and Farhan Aslam patrolled in markets and on roads to maintain law and order situation on Chand Raat.

A comprehensive traffic arrangement plan was made by traffic wardens on orders of Chief Traffic Officer in Murree as well as in the city to facilitate the tourists.

Deputy Commissioner (DC) Chaudhry Muhammad Ali Randhawa also visited old age homes and other places to celebrate Eid with destitute segments of society.

The big congregations were held at Eid Gah Islamia Seminary at F-Block, Daral Aloom Hanfia Usmania Ganjmandi, Rawal Road, Jamia Masjid Abu-al-Qasim Jan Colony Tench, Rawalpindi Medical College Ground Tipu Road, Jamia Masjid Khatim-ul-Nabiyan Neelam Colony, Jamia Masjid Westridge, Jamia Masjid Bilali Arya Mohala, Jamia Masjid Akbari Mohan Pura, Jamia Masjid Zia Hanfia Gulzar-e-Qaid, Jamia Masjid Wapda Colony Mareer, Liaquat Bagh, Jamia Masjid Riaz-ul-Janat Kuri Road, Markazi Eid Gah Gawalmandi, 22 Number Chungi, Jamia Masjid Morgah, Jamia Masjid Gulzar-e-Madina Dhama Seydan, Jamia Masjid Gulshan-e-Abad, Rukhshanda Masjid Adiala Road, Jamia Masjid Rajgan Dhamial Road and so many other localities.

Special prayers were also offered for the development and prosperity of the country and for the helpless people of Kashmir and the victims of Palestine, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Soon after offering Eid prayers, people greeted each other “Eid Mubarak”, gave food and alms to poor people and visited graveyards laying floral wreaths and offering fateh on the graves of their beloved ones. Later people also visited friends and relatives in very jolly mood.

They also exchanged gifts and enjoyed special dishes, particularly “sewayian”, and different varieties of biryani, meat and mutton.

On the other hand, candidates of various political parties, including PTI MPs Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Sadaqat Abbasi, Wasiq Qayyum Abbasi, Maj (R) Latasab Satti, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Sheikh Rashid Shafique, Amir Kiyani, Babu Sheryar Riaz, Raja Rashid Hafiz, Ijaz Khan Jazi, Fiaz ul Hassan Chohan, Muhammad Basharat Raja, Taimoor Khan,PML-N legislators Malik Abrar Ahmed, Malik Iftikhar Ahmed, Malik Shakil Awan, Haji Pervaiz, Engineer Qamar ul Islam, Raja Javed Ikhlas, Chaudhry Sarfraz Afzal, Barrister Danial Chaudhry, Hanif Abbasi, Sardar Mumtaz Khan, Zia Ullah Shah, Sardar Nasim, Raja Hanif Advocate,PPP Sumaira Gull, Haji Gulzar Awan, Ch Ifitikhar, and many others intermingled in their voters and supporters in their respective areas and greeted them Eid.

Federal Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed placed a camp outside Lal Haveli where he remained present for the whole day to greet Eid happiness with his area people.

All shops and business establishments, banks and government offices remained closed due to the public holidays.

The police made unprecedented security arrangements at Eid Gahs with deployment of extra force both in uniform and in civvies. City Traffic Police diverted the traffic during the prayers to avoid traffic mess.

The business of sweets got momentum as huge rush could be witnessed on all bakeries and sweet shops with people buying cakes and sweets for their friends and relatives. Traffic remained off the road whereas taxi cabs minted money from the passengers as per their own will.

A festive mood also gripped the city even on Monday, the third day of Eid, as a large number of families thronged Zia Park, Ayub Park and Play Land.

Children and youngsters enjoyed the swings and delicious food such as chana chat, gol gappay, burger, finger chips, pakoras, samosas and many other sweets.

WAPDA observed a massive load-shedding on the eve of Eid in areas of Rawalpindi and its suburbs causing troubles for the citizens.

Tens of thousands of citizens also thronged the hill resort Murree to celebrate Eid Ul Fitr.

Following orders of RPO, Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Muhammad Bin Ashraf made comprehensive traffic plan to facilitate the tourists. The entry of heavy traffic and motorcycles has been banned in the hill station to avoid traffic mess. CTO remained present in Murree to control traffic rush. CTO also visited the different duty points, shared Eid greetings with wardens and distributed Eidi and sweets.

According to Wajid Satti, a spokesman to CTO,  a total of 55,460 vehicles have entered Murree in first three days while 29,769 vehicles returned from the hill station. He added that CTO himself monitored the traffic arrangements in Murree. He said the traffic wardens guided the tourists in an excellent way besides controlling traffic rush.

He said the traffic wardens have not allowed any tourist for double parking or violating no parking ban.

“We visited Murree with family to enjoy Eid. Traffic arrangements made by police were excellent but food and hotel accommodation were expensive there,” said Yasir Javed, a carpenter. He said the government should bring the restaurants and hotels under a law so that tourists could get facilities.

On the other hand, the district government have kept a tight check on the prices of daily use items as citizens bought vegetables like onion, potato, tomato, green chillies, mint, fruit, yogurt, meat, mutton and chicken at affordable prices.

However, the price magistrate badly failed in maintaining the prices of mutton that was beings sold at Rs1200kg while beef at Rs600 to Rs650 per kg. Similarly, price of 1 kg chicken was 330 to 400 in the city. The government should take action against profiteers, said a large number of citizen during a chat with The Nation.

People, who went to their native villages to celebrate Eid with their families, had to face humiliation at the hands of transporters who charged extra fares from them. On third day of Eid, public transport remained off the roads posing hardships for passengers.  A large numbers of passengers could be witnessed standing on bus terminals in almost all the areas. Taxi and rickshaw drivers fleeced the passengers.

APP adds: Hundreds of picnic lovers including women and children Friday on the third day of Eidul Fitr visited various recreational places including parks, zoo and cinemas to make the festival day memorable.

This year four Eid holidays were announced by the government that happened to be combined with the weekly holidays of Saturday and Sunday providing a long recreational opportunity to the citizens.

Most of the people exchanged Eid greetings with their relatives, friends, dear and near ones and visited hotels and food streets to enjoy the special occasion.

City’s main parks including Nawaz Sharif Park, Ayub National Park, Lake View Park, Jinnah Park, Rawal Road Park, Shakarparian Monument, Fatima Jinnah Park, Daman-e-Koh, Wild Life Park Lohi Bher, Faisal Mosque were witnessed jam-packed rush of a large number of people on the third day of Eid.

The city zoo and the adjacent children’s park also attracted by a large number of people especially families. It was really a good occasion to see smiles on the faces of people and the children.

A large number of fun seekers also visited Murree and adjoining areas to enjoy the pleasant weather at Murree, Nathiagali, Donga Gali, Ayubia, Changla Gali and other scenic resorts. Most of the visiting families brought their own food, while youngsters with cooking utensils were busy to make food. Some of the youngsters traveled on motorcycles to the hilly areas.

The Islamabad police deployed around 1,000 personnel to safeguard different picnic points of the federal capital to avoid any untoward incident.

According to a police spokesman, as per the directives of Inspector General of Police Muhammad Aamir Zulfiqar Khan, foolproof security arrangements were put in place to facilitate citizens visiting amusement resorts along with their families.

Under the arrangements, police were undertaking special patrolling of all the picnic spots to give a sense of security to the picnickers. Police commandos and Counter Terrorism Force personnel were also performing duties at various locations.