LAHORE - Eidul Azha was celebrated throughout Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Indian Occupied Kashmir with religious zeal and fervour.
In Occupied Kashmir, Kashmiris celebrated Eid amid strict restrictions by the Indian forces.
Millions of animals were sacrificed after Eid prayers at mosques, Eidgahs and open places. During Eid prayers, the faithful prayed to Allah Almighty for progress, prosperity, peace and unity in Pakistan and sought divine help for the oppressed Muslims in Indian Held Kashmir, Palestine and other parts of the world.
The youth and children enjoyed all three Eid days eating variety of foods and visiting parks, zoo and recreational resorts. A tight security was put in place at public places, bazaars and the open places where Eid prayers were offered.
Reports of inadequate sanitation and cleanliness arrangements continued to pour in from various parts of the country including Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi and Multan. However, the staff of the Waste Management, City Government and the district administration took action and lifted offal and animal waste albeit mainly on second and third day of the Eid.
This was the first Eid after general elections, which brought the PTI into power, breaking the status quo of last 70 years. The rulers of the past, PML-N and the PPP, celebrated Eidul Azha in a totally changed environment this time.
Former prime minister and PML-N patron Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar spent Eid in Adiala Jail where another senior member of the party, Hanif Abbasi, is also imprisoned after conviction by a special court.
Nawaz Sharif’s mother, brother Shehbaz Sharif and other members of the family met him and Maryam in Adiala Jail on Eid day after getting special permission. Safdar was admitted to hospital after he developed a heart problem the same day. Hanif Abbasi was also hospitalised after he too developed certain cardiac problem. Nawaz Sharif offered Eid prayers in the jail and Shehbaz Sharif at Model Town mosque.
Newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan spent Eid days in Islamabad where he attended to official work after prayers in addition to exchanging Eid greetings with his party men at the PM House. Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar offered Eid prayers at Garden Town mosque. Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa is in Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj and he was at Mina on Eid day. President Mamnoon Hussain offered Eid prayers in Islamabad, while former president Asif Ali Zardari was out of country on during Eid days. Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar offered Eid prayers at Jilani Park where he exchanged greetings with ordinary people. He had reached the park in his personal vehicle and without protocol. On way back, he stopped to exchange Eid greetings with traffic policemen.
In Lahore, major Eid congregations were held at Badshahi Masjid, Masjid Darbar Data Gunj Bukhsh, Jamiya Naeemia, Jamiya Ashrafia, University Ground, Imambargah Gamey Shah, Masjid Darul Islam, Jamiya Masjid Ahle Hadith, Jamia Masjid Bahria Town, Masjide Shohada, Gaddafi Stadium and Jamaya Manzoor Sadar.
Very tight security was maintained in all major cities of the country. Police patrol continued in these cities and close vigilance was maintained on anti-state elements on all entry and exit points. Wardens were deputed on the roads especially to check wheelies but violations continued in various parts of the country. Generally, Eid days passed peacefully.