Gaza takes centre stage as Pakistan marks Eidul Fitr

Published April 10, 2024
Muslims offer special morning prayers to start Eidul Fitr at the historic Badshahi Mosque in Lahore on April 10. — AFP
Muslims offer special morning prayers to start Eidul Fitr at the historic Badshahi Mosque in Lahore on April 10. — AFP

Pakistan celebrated Eidul Fitr with most of the Muslim world on Wednesday, as leaders expressed solidarity with the people of Gaza, where a six-month-long Israeli military invasion has resulted in the deaths of more than 33,000 Palestinians and injuries to many more.

“On behalf of the Pakistan nation, I want to give the message to the oppressed Muslims of Gaza and Palestine that the whole Pakistani nation express solidarity with you,” President Asif Ali Zardari said in his Eid message released by state news agency APP.

“We impress upon the international community to ensure immediate peace in Gaza and provision of assistance to the Palestinians,” he said. “The oppression, barbarity and genocide by Israel is the gravest violation of human rights.”

Not forgetting the situation in India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the president reassured the region’s people of Pakistan’s unwavering support, both morally and politically, in line with UN resolutions and the Kashmiri people’s aspirations.

While extending warm Eidul Fitr greetings to Pakistan and the broader Muslim community, President Zardari called for a spirit of compassion and generosity towards the less fortunate. He highlighted the essence of sharing and caring that marks the end of Ramazan, the holy month of fasting and prayer.

“On this auspicious occasion of Eidul Fitr, I extend my sincere congratulations to the Pakistani nation and the Muslim Ummah. May this day bring abundant blessings, joy, peace, and security to all,” he said.

“It’s a day to express our gratitude for the divine blessings bestowed upon us,” Zardari remarked, emphasising the importance of compassion and generosity witnessed during Ramazan.

He urged the nation to extend their joy to include the needy, orphans, and the destitute, sharing the happiness of Eid. “This auspicious day sends us a message of determination to face challenges, offer a helping hand to those in need, and work towards a brighter future for everyone,” he stated.

Concluding his message, the President prayed for the welfare and prosperity of Pakistanis and the Muslim Ummah worldwide. “May this Eid bring us unity, peace, and prosperity. May we continue to walk the path of righteousness,” he said, ending with a hopeful “Ameen.”

President Zardari offered the Eid prayers in Nawabshah, where he prayed for the country’s development and greeted others present at the mosque.

‘Let’s not forget our Palestinian and Kashmiri brethren’

Continuing with the Eid messages of unity and compassion from Pakistan’s leadership, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also reached out to the nation and Muslims worldwide on the joyous occasion of Eidul Fitr. Mirroring President Zardari’s sentiments, he emphasised the festival’s core values of solidarity and generosity.

Prime Minister Shehbaz’s message also extended solidarity to Muslims in Palestine and Kashmir, facing challenges and oppression. “Let us not forget our Palestinian and Kashmiri brethren during our celebrations. We pray for their relief and for peace and harmony to prevail worldwide.”

In his message, PM Shehbaz said: “Eidul Fitr marks not just the conclusion of Ramazan but also a period filled with blessings, spiritual growth, and an opportunity for introspection and improvement in patience, tolerance, and resilience.”

Highlighting the essence of Eid, he stressed the importance of community and harmony. “Eid brings with it a message of unity, encouraging us to foster a peaceful and prosperous society. As we revel in the festivities, let’s not overlook those among us in need. I urge everyone to extend their support to the less fortunate so they too can partake in the joy of Eid.”

The prime minister also paid tribute to the nation’s martyrs and armed forces, acknowledging their sacrifices and dedication to peace and security. “We owe a debt of gratitude to our valiant soldiers and veterans whose relentless efforts ensure our safety and contribute to global peacekeeping,” he remarked.

 Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif speaking to reporters in Lahore on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif speaking to reporters in Lahore on Wednesday.

He concluded with a prayer for the broader dissemination of Islamic principles of compassion and peace. “May the true spirit of Islam guide us towards the betterment of humanity, filling our world with peace and harmony. Ameen.”

Speaking to reporters after Eid prayers in Lahore, the prime minister said: “Let us keep our thoughts our Kashmiri and Palestinian brethren, who are even today, facing cruelty and oppression. Where even today the blood of innocent Palestinians flows. Let us raise our voices against this oppression together.”

Bilawal emphasises tolerance, brotherhood in Eid message

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari echoed his father’s sentiments in his Eid greeting, underscoring that true joy and blessings are only realised when the underprivileged and needy segments of society are also embraced in celebration.

He encouraged people to share the joy of Eid by extending invitations to their less fortunate relatives, neighbours, and fellow Muslim brothers and sisters in need.

Bilawal emphasised that Islam condemns hatred, bigotry, sectarianism, and terrorism. He also paid tribute to the soldiers who bravely sacrificed their lives for the nation, reaffirming solidarity with their families.

Reaffirming his unwavering political, diplomatic, and moral support for the oppressed Muslims in occupied Kashmir and Gaza, Bilawal called upon the entire Muslim Ummah to join in prayers for the freedom of their suffering brethren on the auspicious occasion of Eid.

‘True essence of Eid is in safeguarding country’

 A screenshot showing people during Eid prayers.—DawnNewsTV
A screenshot showing people during Eid prayers.—DawnNewsTV

Adding to the outpouring of Eidul Fitr messages from Pakistan’s leaders, the armed forces have also shared their heartfelt wishes with the nation.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), in its message, conveyed that for soldiers, the essence of Eid is found in the honour of serving their country, often far from home and the joyous gatherings of Eid. “The true spirit of Eid for a soldier is the pride of being on the frontlines, protecting our nation, while being distant from family and the Eid celebrations,” the message highlighted.

The armed forces extended their prayers for Pakistan, hoping for Allah’s blessings to bring peace and prosperity to the beloved homeland. “On this significant day, let us remember the courage and valour of our national heroes, whose dedication serves as an inspiration for the armed forces of Pakistan and all its citizens,” the ISPR stated.

Acknowledging the sacrifices made by military personnel and their families, the message expressed deep gratitude. “We are forever indebted to these courageous individuals and their loved ones for their immense sacrifices. It’s a time to honour the martyrs of Pakistan, whose ultimate sacrifice in defence of our country secures our freedom and sovereignty.”

‘Need to forget internal differences for country’

National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq echoed the sentiments expressed by the premier and president, urging the nation to include the poor and needy in our moments of joy.

“Eidul Fitr provides an opportunity to share happiness and love,” Sadiq highlighted, adding that the nation must not forget the oppressed in India-occupied Kashmir and Gaza.

“The Pakistani nation is strongly feeling the Palestinian people’s grief, pain and agony,” the NA speaker said as he expressed the Parliament’s “full solidarity” with those in Gaza and India-held Kashmir and urged people to arrange “special prayers” for their freedom.

Sadiq further said that today was a “day to express solidarity with the families of those who sacrificed their lives in the fight against terrorism”. “To steer the country out of the challenges it is facing, we will have to forget internal disagreements and move forward,” he asserted.

NA Deputy Speaker Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah also reiterated the need to “forget internal differences and move forward together for the country’s development and prosperity”.

In his message, Shah also emphasised the “need to promote national unity and discipline in Eid gatherings”. Paying tribute to the martyrs who lost their lives while fighting against terrorism, he expressed his heartfelt sympathy with their bereaved families.

The deputy speaker called on the public to include Palestinians and those in India-occupied Kashmir in their prayers.

Ex-PM Imran hails PTI workers’ ‘sacrifices’

Former prime minister Imran Khan — who is currently incarcerated at the Adiala jail — dedicated most of his Eid message to the “sacrifices” of his party workers.

In a message posted on his official X account, Imran was quoted as saying: “I want to commend the sacrifices of our innocent citizens and workers, who laid down their lives for our Haqeeqi Azadi, as well as those who endure the burden of imprisonment, onslaught of vengeance, and face personal and financial losses with utmost courage and resilience.”

The PTI founder prayed for the safety and security of Pakistan and sought “patience, perseverance, and victory over both state and non-state criminals”.

He also extended his prayers to “the people of Gaza facing genocide and the Kashmiris struggling against the ruthless Indian occupation”.

Reflecting on Ramazan, the ex-premier highlighted that fasting instilled “qualities such as patience, sacrifice, discipline and devotion to God, harmonising Muslim society with the philosophy of Islamic life”.

Pakistan joined several countries across the world in celebrating Eidul Fitr today.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Turkiye, Indonesia and Australia are some of the countries that are celebrating Eid today. However, the moon was not sighted in India and Bangladesh, which will observe the festival on Thursday.

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