PESHAWAR - Residents of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including religious scholars and leaders of the ruling coalition, on Friday got divided over celebrating Eidul Fitr as people in most districts of the province celebrated the religious festival with religious fervour while others observed fasting.
Although the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government did not announce Eidul Fitr officially, yet Chief Minister Pervez Khattak celebrated Eid in his native village in Nowshera.
Most of PTI leaders, the CM and leaders of religious and political parties celebrated Eid on Friday. However, people in six out of seven tribal agencies and four out of total six Frontier Regions (FRs) also marked the festival with traditional fervour.
Similarly, majority of the leaders of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl including its spokesman Maulana Abdul Jalil Jan, Senator Haji Ghulam Ali and MPAs celebrated Eid in their respective areas but their central leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman didn’t celebrate the religious festival in Dera Ismail Khan.
Qaumi Watan Party Chairman Aftab Ahmed Khan and his son MPA Sikandar Hayat Khan Sherpao celebrated Eid in their native village in Charsadda on Friday. PPP provincial president Khanzada Khan celebrated Eid in his native village of Mardan.
In provincial metropolis Peshawar and surrounding tribal regions, majority of the people who celebrated Eid but they seemed annoyed with the clerics, who stood divided on this important occasion.
There was a partial celebration of Eid in the provincial metropolis. People residing in cantonment, interior city, Gulbahar and other urban areas were on fast on Friday.
The people said that it was the duty of the state to create harmony and bring the clerics on same page at least on this significant occasion to avoid division in the nation.
People in Swabi, Nowshera and Charsadda districts were seen divided over celebrating Eidul Fitr. Majority of people followed the announcement of Masjid Qasim Ali Khan regarding moon sighting and observed the religious festivity, however, some of them waited for the announcement of Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee.
It was observed for the first time that majority of the local people followed the non-official Ruet-i-Hilal Committee and celebrated Eid.
In the past, only Afghan refugees used to celebrate Eid on the decision of the unofficial committee.
Other districts where the festival was celebrated included Hangu, Bannu, Lakki Marwat and some parts of Malakand. While the people of all the six districts of the Hazara division, including Haripur, Abbottabad, Mansehra, Battagram, Kohistan and Torghar were on fast.
In Malakand Division, except some parts of Malakand district, the faithful of entire seven districts including Chitral, Lower Dir, Upper Dir Buner, Malakand, Swat and Shangla opted to follow the decision of Central Ruet-e-Committee. They will celebrate Eid accordingly.
Eid was also celebrated in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas; partial Eid in Kurram Agency, the tribesmen of rest of tribal agencies marked the festival in accordance with the decision of Qasim Ali Khan Mosque. People residing in five Frontier Regions (FR), FR Kohat, FR Lakki, FR Peshawar, FR Hangu and FR Bannu followed the announcement made at Qasim Ali Khan Mosque. However, residents of FR Dera Ismail Khan and FR Tank opted to follow the central moon-sighting body.
On Thursday, Mufti Shahabud Din Popalzai, the Imam (prayer leader) of the unofficial Ruet-e-Hilal Committee presided over a meeting at Peshawar’s Masjid Qasim Ali Khan and told media persons that Shawwal crescent has been sighted in parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.