PESHAWAR: Worshippers ignored precautionary measures against coronavirus during Eid congregations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Thursday and exchanged greetings in the traditional way of shaking hands with and hugging each other.

However, thing traffic was reported on the roads due to the closure of public places and travel restrictions.

In Peshawar, the main Eid congregation was held at the Charasadda Road Eidgah.

Provincial chief khateeb Maulana Tayyab Qureshi delivered the sermon and led prayers.

Mosques hosted Eid prayers in both city and cantonment areas. However, worshipers flouted the standard operating procedures issued by the government to stem the spread of coronavirus and greeted each other by hugging and shaking hands.

The clerics condemned Israeli attacks on Muslims in Palestine and urged the Ummah and United Nations to step in for halting the bloodshed.

Thin traffic on major roads due to restrictions

The worshipers offered prayers for Muslimsof Palestine and India-held Kashmir against the brutalities of occupation forces.

The police took strict security measures for mosques and Eidgahs.

According to a spokesman for the police, around 3,000policepersonnel were deployed across the capital for Eid security.

Traffic was very thin on major roads due to lockdown. The police checked vehicles on GT Road to enforce restrictions meant for containing coronavirus.

All public parks were closed to visitors. However, the people, mostly youth, gathered in greenbelts of Hayatabad and other areas ignoring SOPs. Children thronged recreational facilities.

People went to Bab-i-Khyber overhead bridge in Hayatabad in large numbers and took for selfies and pictures on mobiles. The police dispersed them.

The shops selling milk, fruits, fresh juices and ice creams were open. They recorded good business.

The Al-Khidmat Foundation organised a function for the welfare of orphans, street children and thalassaemia patients.

Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq was the chief guest on the occasion, where party’s Peshawar chief Attequr Rehman, general secretary Iftikhar Ahmad and members of the organising committee Noorul Wahid Jadoon, Dr Yousuf Ali, Arbab Abdul Haseeb and Maulana Hidayatullah were also in attendance.

Mr Siraj said the Al-Khidmat Foundation was supporting at least 15,000 children in different orphanages and welfare centres with limited resources.

He said millions of children, including orphans, street children and patients, direly needed the government’s support as most of them scavenged garbage yards for a living.

Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2021

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