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Pakistan celebrates Eidul Fitr as economic woes dampen festive cheer

Courtesy: Dawn News/AFP

Pakistan is celebrating Eidul Fitr with religious zeal and fervour today, although the festivities have been lukewarm due to multiple crises facing the nation and a worsening economic turmoil.

According to traders’ bodies, a massive slowdown was witnessed in sales prior to Eid due to skyrocketing inflation. Traders said that genuine buyers were, on average, 50 per cent less than last year due to eroding buying power of consumers caused by unprecedented increases in food, electricity and petroleum prices.

However, retail brands have reported robust demand for their products.

Eid congregations

The first day of Eid began with congregations being held in mosques and Eidgahs in all major cities and towns, Radio Pakistan reported, adding that the main congregation in capital Islamabad was held at Faisal Mosque where top government officials and envoys of Muslim countries offered Eid prayers.

Special prayers were offered for the progress and prosperity of the country and the welfare of the Muslim ummah, the state broadcaster said.

President Arif Alvi also joined the congregation at Faisal Mosque and prayed for the peace, progress and prosperity of the country, state media reported. He also prayed for the salvation of the people of occupied Kashmir from Indian suppression and atrocities.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif offered Eid prayers in Lahore.

He, too, prayed for the country’s prosperity and peace, as well as the people of occupied Kashmir and Palestine and the victims of a deadly earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria in February, the state media said.

PM, president’s message

In their Eid messages, President Alvi and PM Shehbaz urged people not to forget the needy and destitute on the festive occasion.

President Alvi urged the countrymen not to allow their sectarian, religious and political differences to become a source of strife and hatred during the Eid holidays.

The Turkish president also appreciated the prime minister’s visit to Turkiye in the aftermath of the quake and said they would always remember the leadership Pakistan demonstrated.

The leaders expressed satisfaction at the “excellent bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries and reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to further advance these fraternal ties in all areas of mutual interest particularly; trade, economy, food security and green energy”.

They also reaffirmed their resolve to remain in close contact with each other on all important regional and global issues, the report added. The prime minister also invited President Erdogan to visit Pakistan, which was accepted.

1- Header image: Worshippers gather to offer a special morning prayer to start the Eidul Fitr festival, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramazan, at the grand Faisal Mosque in Islamabad on April 22, 2023. — AFP

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