SWAT/ ABBOTABAD/ PESHAWAR:
While the rest of the country celebrates Eidul Fitr today, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa remained divided, with much of the province celebrating on Sunday – and with others in the province refusing to go against the Central Moon-sighting Committee’s decision.
Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti, Awami National Party Chairman Asfandyar Wali and Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain offered Eid prayers at the Chief Minister Secretariat.
Conspicuously, with the exception of government officials, people in Swat and Dera Ismail Khan refused to celebrate Eid on Sunday.
In Mingora, the announcement to observe Eid on Sunday was made by the office of district coordination officer. Elsewhere in Swat district, the announcement was made by police.
But after the announcement, Ulema in various areas denounced the decision and urged people to celebrate Eid on Monday with the rest of the country.
Condemning the provincial government’s announcement of celebrating Eid on Sunday, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) Swat chapter General Secretary Qari Shamsur Rehman Khalil said, “We are committed to following the announcement of the Central Moon-sighting Committee and not the provincial committee, so we will celebrate Eid with the central government.”
Residents in certain areas of Peshawar also refused to celebrate Eid on Sunday, including in Peshawar Cantonment, Defence Colony, Shami Road, Yakatot, Gulbahar, Nishtarabad, Bilal Town and some parts of Dalazak Road.
The people of Hazara also stuck to a decades-old tradition of celebrating Eid in accordance with the announcement made by the Central Moon-sighting Committee, including even some Pashto-speaking areas.
“This is not the first time the clerics in Charsadda, Mardan, Bannu and Peshawar have misled the people in their areas,” said Qari Abdul Khaliq, a local religious leader.
However, Afghan refugees living in camps in Haripur and Mansehra districts observed Eidul Fitr with Saudi Arabia on Sunday.
In DI Khan, the Millat e Jafria and Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat celebrated Eid on the outskirts of the city. Eid was celebrated on Sunday in Kohat, Hangu, Mardan, Swabi, Buner, Upper and Lower Dir, Kurram, Orakzai, Jamrud, Bara, Landi Kotal, Charsadda, Mohmand, Bajaur and South Waziristan.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2012.
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