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Afghans celebrate Eid in Peshawar

Updated August 09, 2013

PESHAWAR, Aug 8: The Afghan refugees celebrated Eidul Fitr with religious fervour in the provincial metropolis on Thursday.

The religious festival was also celebrated in some parts of the tribal areas.

Unlike past in many parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa people observed fast on Thursday, showing their resolve to celebrate Eidul Fitr with the rest of the countrymen.

However, Afghan refugees congregated and offered Eid prayers at the site Kacha Garhi camp where the refugees had lived for almost three decades.

As the Afghans, wearing new clothes and traditional turbans, greeted each other on the day celebrated after fasting for almost a month, Peshawar was comparatively calmer.

The hustle and bustle of the shoppers also died down a little and most of the people left on Thursday, an official holiday, for their villages to celebrate Eid with their families.

The change was felt by many as it would be after a long time that people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province would celebrate Eid on the day officially announced by the government.

The moon-sighting committee of the famous Qasim Ali Khan Masjid, headed by Mufti Shahbuddin Popalzai, also did not announce Eid despite holding a meeting on Wednesday night. Qasim Ali Khan Masjid is considered the final authority by the local people to announce Eid. Unlike many settled parts of the province, Eid was celebrated in Bannu due to presence of a sect, affiliated with Saudi Arabia.

Besides the Afghan refugees, people in some parts of tribal areas who follow Saudi Arabia also celebrated Eid on Thursday.

In Mohmand Agency, not only the local people but the local administration also celebrated Eid with full religious zeal.

Eid was also celebrated in North Waziristan and Khyber agencies besdies some areas of Bajaur Agency. However, people in Kurram, Orakzai and South Waziristan agencies fasted and would celebrate Eid on Friday.

Some militant groups, openly challenging the writ of government, had also a role in announcement of Eid on Thursday.

Mangal Bagh, chief of banned militant outfit Lashkar-i-Islam, had announced in Bara that Eid would be celebrated in Thursday.

Displaced people from Khyber Agency residing in Jalozai camp were also divided on Eid celebrations. Some celebrated Eid on Thursday while the others waited to celebrate Eid with the rest of the countrymen.