SHABQADAR/ HARIPUR/ SWAT/ PESHAWAR:
Eidul Fitr was celebrated in several parts of Khyber-Pakthunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas on Monday, unlike the rest of the country, which will observe the occasion today.
Head of the committee at Qasim Ali Khan Mosque in Peshawar, Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai announced the moon sighting late Sunday night, saying Eid would be celebrated in the city and other parts of the province on Monday.
He said the committee met after evening prayers and made the Eid announcement after 48 testimonies from different districts.
Eid was celebrated in the Matta Mughal Khel and Khwajawas areas of Charsadda, where leading clerics belonging to the Barelvi and Ghair Muqallid schools of thought, announced that the occasion would be observed on the same day as it was in Saudi Arabia.
Eid was also celebrated on the outskirts of Mardan, where the local Ruet-e-Hilal committee said more than 12 witnesses sighted the Shawwal moon. Karak and Bannu celebrated the occasion after a number of testimonies came from both areas.
As with previous years, Afghan nationals living in the refugees camps of Hazara division followed the Pukhtun population of Peshawar city, celebrating Eidul Fitr on Monday.
Despite the fact that the provincial government has decided to go with the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee's decision, Afghans prefer to follow the regional committee led by Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai. Nadir Khan, a local Afghan elder, said they observed the first of Ramazan and Eidul Fitr by following Saudi Arabia and the rest of K-P. He added that prayer leaders from over 12 Afghan mosques in Haripur and about 10 in Mansehra led Eid prayers on Monday morning after fasting for 29 days.
The central and regional Ruet-e-Hilal committees in other parts of the country, meanwhile, convened on Monday to sight the moon. Residents of Swat have decided to wait for the federal government’s announcement and will celebrate with the rest of the country. Around 15,000 extra policemen have been deployed in Malakand division to maintain law and order.
Eid in parts of Fata
After announcements on most public address systems from mosques on Sunday, Eid was celebrated in Mohmand Agency’s headquarters Ghallanai as well as Safi and Khwaizai.
Other parts of the agency that celebrated the occasion alongside the Saudi kingdom included Baizai tehsil, while Ekka Ghund, which follows Peshawar’s Qasim Ali Khan mosque, also observed Eid. The ulema in Mohmand have been celebrating Eidul Fitr with Saudi Arabia since 2008 for the sake of uniformity and to eliminate any differences over the issue.
Another Fata region that celebrated Eid on Monday was Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency, where militants from banned outfits announced the occasion on loudspeakers at mosques.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2014.
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