LAHORE

Eidul Azha in the provincial capital was celebrated with traditional zeal and religious fervour with prayers for peace and prosperity in country, rehabilitation of North Waziristan IDPs and flood affectees.

A large number of citizens, social workers, politicians and other organisations did not forget the people of the flood-stricken areas and North Waziristan Agency and celebrated the Eid day with them. Moreover, these organisations and citizens also provided all essential commodities to the affectees with special Eid packages prepared for them, including meat of sacrificial animals.

On Eidul Azha, most of the citizens preferred collective sacrifice certainly because of skyrocketing prices of the sacrificial animals. Moreover, the trend and ratio of sacrificing animals remained about 10 per cent less on this Eid as compared to the previous year. In this regard, former Chairman of Pakistan Tanneries Association Agha Sayedain and President of Lahore Hides and Skin Traders said that as per data about 6 million goats, one million sheep, 2 million bulls and cows while 0.15 to 0.2 million camels were sacrificed during three days of Eidul Azha. They said that 6pc hides and skins of sacrificial animals got wasted due to hot weather because the people did not use salt for saving skins.

Taking advantage of the insufficient arrangements and poor price controlling mechanism on part of the authorities concerned, vendors and shopkeepers continued overcharging the customers buying daily use commodities especially 20 to 40pc on vegetables and fruits.

Residents, early in the morning, started preparing for Eid prayers and sacrificing animals after wearing new clothes. Children and youth were witnessed enthusiastic about their Eid preparations and were taking keen interest in decorating the animals before sacrifice.

Later, they proceeded towards Eidgahs to offer Eid prayer. Almost all the major mosques made special arrangements for women in the premises of Eidgahs and mosques. Special Eid sermons, highlighting the Sunnah of Prophet Ibraham (AS) and the philosophy of sacrifice in Islam, were delivered before Eid prayers.

After that, special prayers were also offered for peace, prosperity, sovereignty and welfare of the country. The prayers followed by ‘Eid Milan’, in which people embraced each other and exchanged greetings in unique and rare style. Eid Milan continues during the three days of Eid with people meeting their family members, relatives and friends.

Offering the sacrifice of animals was the next step of the three-day-long Eid festivities and it was witnessed that citizens slaughtered small animals like goats and sheep in the premises of their houses while heavy weighted animals like bulls, cows and camels were slaughtered in open areas especially in nearby grounds, streets and on the roadsides.

As per tradition, citizens invited their relatives and friends to perform combined sacrifice and all family members gathered at one place and performed the religious rituals.

Butchers were charging Rs2500 to Rs5000 for slaughtering a sheep/goat while Rs7000 to Rs9000 for a bull/cow. Keeping in view the high rates of hiring butchers, a large number of citizens slaughtered their animals themselves. After slaughtering the animals, meat was divided into three equal shares and was distributed among the family and relatives; needy people; neighbours; and others.

Meanwhile, campaigns for the collection of animal hides by the seminaries, mosques, welfare organisations and charity hospitals was in full swing despite ban on collection of hides imposed by the government. However, the City District Government Lahore, taking action against such activity of collecting skins and hides, lodged cases against eight persons.

Moreover, the CDGL lodged cases against other 28 persons and arrested them on violating section 144, under which the government imposed ban on roasting animal heads and legs. The accused persons were found involved in roasting legs and heads of animals at open places illegally.