LAHORE - The Eid celebrations continue in the city. Thousands of Lahore residents started celebrating the biggest Muslim festival with zeal on Wednesday.

Lahore, which is well known for its eateries and traditional food points, also hosted some families from other cities who arrived here to enjoy delicious dishes and visit different historical sites during Eid days.

People throng Badshahi Mosque, Lahore Fort, Minar-e-Pakistan, Lahore Zoo, Jallo Park, Jinnah Garden, Gulshan-e-Iqbal and other such points on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

All famous restaurants in food streets and other areas were deck up to win customers’ attention on the occasion. Citizens braved hot and humid weather to celebrate the festival.

Business boomed on Chand Raat when the people rushed to the markets after announcement of moon sighting Tuesday.

“Our sale surges on Chand Raat. We have good business as this Eid is also called Sweet Eid,” said a noted baker.

The residential areas of the city, however, wore a deserted look as a majority of people from other districts left for their hometowns to mark the event with their families and friends.

Some troublemakers, doing dangers stunts like wheelies, were caught by cops. A death was also reported. Police reported to have arrested more than 200 boys for doing wheelie.

Reportedly, 144,536 people visited the Zoo, Safari and Jallo Park.

Zoo Director Shafqat Ali said 39,332 people paid visit on the first day of Eid and the admin earned Rs1.2 million while on the second day, 69,479 people visited and Rs2.4m was earned.

“All arrangements are up to the mark. Different games and shows were arranged for children.” Shafqat said.

“We have made full security arrangements including 32 CCTV cameras, and four walkthrough gates installed to avert any untoward incident,” he said.

Established in 1872, the Zoo has a collection of 1,380 animals of 136 species making it one of the largest zoos in South Asia. It also has 1,280 trees of 71 species. Children like visiting here and spending time with their favorite Suzi, the African elephant.

Wildlife Department Deputy Director Amir Masood said 23,735 people visited the Lahore Safari during the first two days. According to the department, 12,000 visitors visited Jallo Park and 12,000 Changa Manga Park. The Parks and Horticulture Authority have also opened Jallo Botanical Garden that remained the centre of attraction for people.

At the Jallo Botanical Garden, there were walkways and a butterfly house and Pakistan first ever bonsai garden, food court and play areas were mostly visited and enjoyed by people.

APP reports:  A large number of people on Thursday, the second day of Eid visited Wagah border to witness flag lowering ceremony. The people from different walks of life, witnessed  the impressive flag lowering ceremony and raised slogans like "Pakistan Zindabad". A smartly turned out contingent of Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) lowered the flag.

Punjab Governor Rafiq Rajwana offered Eid prayer in Badshahi mosque while Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif offered Eid prayer in Ittefaq Mosque Model Town. They also exchanged Eid greetings with the people. Ulema and Khatib highlighted the significance of the day  and urged the people to follow the teachings of Islam and the Holy Quran.

They also condemned the terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia and termed them as attack on the whole Muslim Ummah. They underlined the need of complete unity of Muslim Ummah in their ranks and files. Special prayers were offered for integrity, solidarity and prosperity of the country.

After, Eid prayers, people visited the residences of their relatives and friends to exchange greetings with them and distributed Eidi to their children.

Security steps: More than 10,000 policemen performed duty to maintain peace.

Large public gathering of Eid was held at Badshahi Mosque, Data Darbar, Jamia Naeemia, Mansoorah, Jamiatul Muntazir Model Town, Idara Minhajul Hussain Johar Town, Gaddafi Stadium, Baghe Jinnah, Model Town Park, Jamia Ashrafia, Punjab University new Campus, Imam Bargahs, open places, parks, Eidgahs and grounds, where the faithful turned in hundreds  of thousands.

On the directions by the Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Capt (R) Muhammad Amin Wains, the security cover was provided to more than 20,000 mosques, Imambargahs and open places where prayer congregations were held.

City police also established control rooms for the better  coordination between various security wings of police. All the divisional SPs, supervisory police officers, SHOs and more over one thousand upper subordinates were deputed at various places besides intensifying patrolling system of dolphin force.

Likewise, a special traffic plan was prepared to ensure smooth flow of traffic on roads during Eid holidays and 2,535 traffic wardens were deputed at important roads and busy areas.

Lahore Waste Management Company, WASA and district administration also made special arrangements to ensure cleanliness and storm water disposal after rain.


Iftikhar Alam/Faizan Ali Warraich