KP marks Eid with exception of Hazara, Malakand divisions

Published May 3, 2022
People offer Eidul Fitr prayers at the Eidgah on Charsadda Road, Peshawar, on Monday. — Photo by Shahbaz Butt
People offer Eidul Fitr prayers at the Eidgah on Charsadda Road, Peshawar, on Monday. — Photo by Shahbaz Butt

PESHAWAR: Eidul Fitr was celebrated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Monday in line with the provincial government’s announcement, with the exception of Hazara and Malakand divisions, where the people kept the last fast before the post-Ramazan festival.

The provincial government had declared on Sunday that the province would mark Eid on Monday in light of an announcement about the sighting of the Shawwal moon by the unofficial Ruet-i-Hilal Committee based in Peshawar’s Qasim Ali Khan Masjid.

Eid was observed in almost all parts of central KP, including Peshawar, Charsadda, Nowshera, Mardan, Swabi, Mohmand, Khyber and Bajaur, and large parts of the southern belt.

Chief Minister Mahmood Khan offered Eid prayers at the Governor’s House, while major Eid congregation was held at the Charsadda Road Eidgah.

Unlike the past, the district administrations in parts of southern KP, Hazara and Malakand divisions made announcements about the observing of Eid, but religious leaders as well as the people didn’t follow them.

Interestingly, acting governor and Speaker of the provincial assembly Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani also defied the provincial government’s announcement and said he would celebrate Eid from Tuesday as declared by the federal government.

Swat, the home district of the chief minister, also ignored the provincial government’s Eid announcement.

The local clerics didn’t act on the deputy commissioner’s declaration on the post-Ramazan festival.

However, a few officials of the district administration marked Eidul Fitr in the day with the only Eid congregation being held in the Javed Iqbal Shaheed Police Lines.

Those in attendance included DPO Zahid Nawaz Marwat, former MNA Salimur Rehman, DSPs, SHOs, and other officials.

After Eid prayers, the DPO also attended Eid party along with police officers and officials.

Similar situation was witnessed in Upper and Lower Chitral, Upper and Lower Dir, Shangla, Dera Ismail Khan and Buner districts and the entire Hazara division.

In Abbottabad, acting governor and KP Assembly Speaker Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani also defied his government’s Eid announcement and kept his fast.

Following the provincial government’s announcement, Abbottabad deputy commissioner Tariq Salam Marwat issued an official handout about Eid celebration on Monday. He, however, issued a clarification afterwards asking the people to follow either decision as the actingGovernor Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani had declared that he would observe Eid on Tuesday.

Mr Ghani’s decision came after consultation with Mufti Jaffar, local cleric and member of the local committee, district Khateeb Mulana Wajid and other notables, especially ulemas of the district, who announced that Eid would be marked after the completion of 30 Ramazan days.

The people of Mansehra, Torghar, Kolai-Palas, Upper Kohistan and Lower Kohistan districts also ignored the provincial government’s Eid announcement and kept the last Ramazan fast on Monday.

Afghan refugees living in camps observed Eid and offered prayers at tented mosques.

An embarrassing situation was witnessed across Hazara division after the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government announced the marking of Eidul Fitr on Monday in line with the decree by unofficial Ruet-i-Hilal Committee led by Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai.

Ulema of different schools of thought made a joint announcement on mosque loudspeakers that the people would keep their fast on Monday.

“I am astonish to witness the PTI’s provincial government double standard as it opposed the Eid decrees of Popalzai-led Ruet-i-Hilal Committee on such occasions in the past but now, it is following its decree to create differences among people just to serve its political ends,” deputy provincial emir of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl Hidayatullah Shah told reporters.

He said the people of Hazara division always followed the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee’s decisions on religious festivities.

“We [JUI-F] are going to launch an agitation against former prime minister Imran Khan just after Eidul Fitr for instigating his party’s workers and activists to commit blasphemy at the Masjid-i-Nabwi,” he said.

Published in Dawn,May 3rd, 2022

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