Muslims across the country celebrated Eidul Fitr on Thursday with religious zeal and fervour while also observing precautionary measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
On Wednesday, the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee — after lengthy deliberations — announced that Eidul Fitr would be celebrated today as the Shawwal moon had been sighted in parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Sindh.
Saudi Arabia is also celebrating Eidul Fitr today.
According to Radio Pakistan, Eid prayers were held at open areas in mosques and Eidgahs across the country following SOPs and other measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.
On the occasion, special prayers were offered for the well-being of the country, while the ulema highlighted the significance of Eidul Fitr. Prayers were also offered for the Muslims of Palestine and the people of occupied Kashmir, the report said.
President Alvi, PM Imran urge nation to follow SOPs
In separate messages, President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan called on citizens to strictly adhere to anti-virus protocols while celebrating Eidul Fitr, stating that the measures were necessary to avoid a massive outbreak.
President Alvi greeted the nation as well as the Muslim world on the occasion and prayed that the day brings plenty of joy.
PM Imran urged the nation to strictly follow precautionary measures and show compassion to the less fortunate while celebrating.
The world is witnessing a third wave of the pandemic, he said, adding that people should exercise extra caution and strictly abide by SOPs. "The precautions are also the injunctions of Islam as well as the teachings of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him)," he said.
PM Imran asked the nation to take special care of the poor and needy, particularly the families suffering financially due to the pandemic, while celebrating Eid. He also called for remembering those who had sacrificed their lives for a greater cause to bring pride to the nation.
He stated that the prayers and wishes of the nation were with the people of occupied Kashmir on the occasion of Eid.
Taking to Twitter, the premier said that this was "a very different Eid" and that it must be celebrated in a quiet manner due to two important reasons.
"One, there is the corona pandemic. In Pakistan we are now again beginning to control the spread so it is vital for our people to observe SOPs.
"Two, equally critical is the need for us all to show solidarity with the Kashmiris and Palestinians who are suffering oppression by occupation powers in complete violation of their international guaranteed basic human rights," he said.
Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar also wished the nation on the occasion and expressed the hope that citizens would remain mindful of SOPs while celebrating in an effort to safeguard their own lives and those of their loved ones.
PML-N leaders Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz kept it simple, and wished the nation "Eid Mubarak".
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said: "This Eid, we pray for the people of Kashmir and Palestine, who spend another Eid resisting oppression and fighting for freedom.
"In Pakistan we welcome Eid with Covid wave gaining momentum and backbreaking inflation robbing joy of Eid for so many. Appeal to all, observe Eid with simplicity," he said.
PPP Senator Sherry Rehman asked the nation to "see the joy in small blessings".
"This Eid let us find in ourselves the ability see joy in small blessings, to give solace to those who suffer losses both at home and in zones of oppression like Gaza, Kashmir or wherever there is hunger and want in difficult times. Protect yourself, protect others, have a safe Eid."