That time of the year has been blessed upon us again, when the streets will be decorated with lights and the tables of home with mutton delicacies, and the air with the sound of the melodious greeting “Eid Mubarak”. The day of Eid-ul-Azha is a day of charity and joy, where the messages of brotherhood and peace among society ought to be strengthened, with dwellings on the sacrifices we have suffered together. After a tumultuous election season, one with several blasts and tragedies, this Eid day comes as a time to reflect and revel in the little joys of life and hope.

However, as with every Eid, we must not let the spirit of Eidi and holidays prevent us from acting like responsible citizens. Every Eid-ul-Azha, about 10 million animals are sacrificed, whose hides collection and disposal often becomes an issue for law and order, with banned outfits and organisation engaging in hide collection to generate funds. This year, the government has taken action, with the care-taker Sindh government imposing a ban on the collection of hides of sacrificial animals without permission from the commissioner or the deputy commissioner, setting up camps to collect hides and using flags and loudspeakers to make announcements for the collection of hides. The Punjab government is also strictly disallowing proscribed organisations, which include the 18 organisation blacklisted by the UN, to collect hides during Eidul Azha.

Though the issue of hide collection may seem like an afterthought to ordinary citizens, it is important to responsibly donate hides to official charity organisations, like Shaukat Khanum Hospital, which has a hide collection program to generate revenue for cancer patients, instead of giving opportunity to banned outfits. While we must freely celebrate Eid with the spirit of joy and brotherhood, we cannot forget the security threats which have outlined our country, and continue to do so.