Enticed by cloudy weather and intermittent rains, a large number of people in the twin cities headed to parks and other recreational resorts during Eid holidays.
Crowds of families and friends were seen picnicking on the second and third day of Eid. Children in colourful dresses, played games with their parents and friends and gorged on snacks.
People who spent their day at Lake View Park enjoyed boating as well, while animal lovers visited Islamabad Zoo.
Most families brought along picnic hampers, while some were seen enjoying barbecue at various parks. “I’m enjoying a game of cricket with my cousins,” said Hamza, 14, a visitor at the Rose and Jasmine Garden (RJG). “I can hit the ball with greater force, which is not possible outside my house,” he added.
Open spaces are hard to come by and some families had travelled great distances to visit their venue of choice. These included Ayub Park, Nawaz Sharif Park, Jinnah Park, Rumi Park, Shah Balot Park, Racecourse Park in Rawalpindi and Daman-e-Koh, Shakarparian, Pakistan Monument, Lok Virsa, RJG, Japanese Park, Fatima Jinnah Park, Islamabad Zoo, Rawal Lake, Shah Faisal Mosque and Bari Imam in Islamabad. Meanwhile, parking turned out to be a big headache at these picnic places as they were jam-packed.
After a hot and humid Ramazan, the pleasant weather encouraged the people to come out of their houses, said Asad Ali, a visitor at Ayub Park. I’m here with my family to celebrate the third day of Eid on my son’s insistence, he added. However, some visitors were a little worried due to security threats. I didn’t want to come, but my son forced me to, said Adeel Ahmed, a government employee, at RJG.
Like every year, visitors, particularly at Ayub Park, RJG and other picnic places, were also annoyed with traders for selling sub-standard and unhygienic food items at exorbitant prices. A small bottle of mineral water cost Rs35 at RJG. Venders were seen fleecing children by charging double for toys and balloons.
However, when contacted, an official was adamant that the administration regularly checks the quality and prices of edible items sold at picnic spots. He claimed the administration would take stern action against overcharging shopkeepers.
With additional input from APP
Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2012.