Faithful pray after offering Eid prayers at Eidgah on Charsadda Road, Peshawar. — White Star
Faithful pray after offering Eid prayers at Eidgah on Charsadda Road, Peshawar. — White Star

PESHAWAR: Eidul Azha was celebrated across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Saturday with religious fervour amid tight security measures outside mosques.

However, most people didn’t wear masks and practice social distancing as recommended by experts to prevent Covid-19 during Eid congregations and animal slaughter.

The festival began on Saturday in most districts. However, Afghan nationals marked the festival on Friday, while the residents of Waziristan region offered Eid prayer on three different days, including Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

In Peshawar, large Eid congregations were held at Eidgah on the Charsadda Road, historical Mahabat Khan Masjid in interior city and Zarghuni Masjid in Hayatabad Township.

Festival marked across KP amid tight security

The clerics highlighted the significance of Eidul Adha in sermons and said the festival taught Muslims the lesson of love, tolerance, unity, and welfare of others.

They also asked the people, especially members of affluent families, to share Eid festivities with the people with limited resources.

The clerics spoke about their meetings with police officials about creation of public awareness of ways to prevent coronavirus.

They led special prayers for peace in and stability and security of the country, and people’s welfare.

Disregarding the government’s restriction, the people thronged parks and other public places in Peshawar, including riversides, during Eid days.

The people, mostly youngsters, also went to the Hayatabad Township but the police blocked their entry to parks. The influx of visitors also led to traffic jams in the area inconveniencing the residents.Families reached Cha Cha Yunus Park and Shahibagh in the city areas in large numbers but the administration didn’t allow them to enter the venues due to restrictions imposed by the government to prevent coronavirus.

Many picnickers left their food behind to escape the police’s raids in Sardar Yab and other areas.

Chief Minister Mahmood Khan offered Eid prayer at the Governor’s House mosque and exchanged greetings with the people.

In a message, Governor Shah Farman offered Eid greetings to Muslims and said the spirit of sacrifice leads a nation, society and individual to the highest rank of morality resulting into an unflinching social prosperity.

He said Eidul Azha reminded Muslims that they should help others to earn the blessings of the Almighty Allah.

Published in Dawn, August 4th, 2020