The Eid festival is synonymous with generosity, forgiveness and unity. Eid is a deeply traditional occasion, when all Pakistanis put aside their religious differences, their political affiliations and their income status to celebrate this day together as a nation. The little ones excitedly put their hands out for eidi, neighbours greet each other warmly at Eid prayer, big bowls of saiwiyaan and sheer khorma are placed in front of well-wishers and guests. It is a time when families can forgive and forget their grievances with each other and celebrate this day with good food, gifts, clothes and henna clad hands.

The streets busy and bustling once again, lights adorn shops and malls and public parks and famous monuments are swarming with families. After a long time, we have a period of relative safety and calm. We are optimistic for the future as we can see better law enforcement evolving from continued crises and improved national policies that reflect a more accountable and fair Pakistan. Today, maybe we can hope that our children will remember this day long after it is over. Perhaps they will reminisce about the Benazir Kulfa they had at the roadside or the delectable barbeque for dinner, rather than how they were stopped at a checkpoint and searched before Eid Namaz. Such are the aspirations from Eid for the Pakistani people. We have so little to celebrate all year round, with endless hours of load shedding, inflation, and constant worries of not being able to pay the bills. We can give ourselves a break a few times a year, and just celebrate being Pakistani and the joys that this country can still offer us. It is time to make the most of this holiday.

As we aim to make this day special for our children and family, we share the pain of all the mothers who lost their children in the Peshawar school attack, of the families who lost their loved ones in the Zarb-e-Azab operation, the countless who have died due to terrorism and the thousands of lives lost during this year’s heatwave. The festival is marred with the scars of the past, but the Pakistani people are resilient. Perhaps we can let our worries disappear and be sure that nothing can or will go wrong… just for today.