Rawalpindi-Residents of Rawalpindi celebrated Eid-ul-Azha with great religious zeal, fervour and festivity. Rain in some areas on second day of Eid turned the weather pleasant. Hundreds of Eid congregations were held while people also offered Eid prayers at mosques, ‘eidgahs’, ‘imambargahs’ and open areas amid tight security.

Big congregations were held at Liaquat Bagh, Eid Gah Sharif, Islamia Seminary at F-Block, Gordon College ground, Viqar-un-Nisa College ground, Daral Aloom Hanafia Usmania Ganjmandi, Jamia Mosque Bahar-e-Madina and several other localities Special prayers were offered for progress and prosperity of the country, unity of the Muslim Ummah, solution of their problems and liberation of Muslim territories, including Indian-Held-Kashmir.

On the occasion, tight security arrangements were made by Rawalpindi Police under the surveillance of City Police Officer Capt (R) Faisal Rana. Scores of well-equipped cops besides Elite Force commandoes and lady police had been deputed outside the bazaars, shopping centers and sensitive public and private buildings.

Strict security measures had also been adopted outside the venues of Eid congregation, while police kept patrolling. No untoward incident reported from anywhere in the city. City Traffic Police, following the instructions of Chief Traffic Officer Bin Ashraf, also facilitated the residents by smoothing traffic flow. In Murree, the wardens also controlled traffic mess successfully.

Soon after offering Eid prayers, people greeted each other; slaughtered sacrificial animals like goat, sheep, lamb, bull, calf and camel, distributed the meat and mutton among their relatives, friends and poor people and visited graveyards laying floral wreaths and offering Fateh on the graves of their beloved ones.

Federal Ministers and PTI office bearers including Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Amir Mehmood Kiyani, MPs Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan, Ijaz Khan Jazzi, Raja Rashid Hafeez, Basharat Raja, former premier and PPP MNA Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, former MPs Malik Abrar Ahmed, Malik Iftikhar Ahmed, Haji Pervaiz, Malik Shakil Awan, Zia Ullah Shah, Raja Hanif Advocate, Chaudhry Ayaz, PPP stalwart and spokesman to former president Asif Ali Zadari Malik Aamer Fida Paracha also offered Eid prayer in their native towns, slaughtered sacrificial animals and intermingled with their supporters and voters. City Police Officer Capt (R) Faisal Rana and Regional Police Officer Capt (R) Ehsan Tufail offered Eid prayers at Police Line Number 1 and greeted the cops. Similarly, Deputy Commissioner Chaudhry Ali Randhawa also offered Eid prayers in the city and later paid visits to several areas to monitor cleanliness by Rawalpindi Waste Management Corporation. After offering the Eid prayer, the RPO and CPO greeted their subordinates.

Later in the evening, people planned a number of programmes. Some arranged Bar.B.Q parties at homes while a number of families thronged public parks and other resorts like Murree, Pir Sohawa and Daman-e-Koh along with children and made ‘tikkas’ and ‘kababs’ from various aromatic spices and lentils on coals.

All shops and business establishments, banks and government offices remained closed due to the public holiday. The business of iron made hearth and rods got momentum as huge rush could be witnessed on all the shops with people buying the stuff to make beef and mutton ‘tikkas’ and ‘kababs’. The price of coals also surged.

Traffic remained off the road whereas taxi cabs minted money from the passengers as per their own will.

Contrary to the last year, the government has taken strict action against the shopkeepers the prices of onion, potato, tomato, green chilies and mint remained low.

As the government announced four public holidays, tens of thousands of citizens also thronged towards the hill resort Murree. Because of heavy deployment of traffic wardens, the traffic situation remained under control on Murree, said a spokesman to the CTO. He said that traffic police had placed special pickets with squads to thwart one wheeling.

He said that the traffic situation in Murree remained under control due to applying special traffic plan prepared by CTO Bin Ashraf. “A large number of vehicles entered in Murree during Eid holidays and traffic police managed the mess despite having less space for parking,” he said. He said that CTO himself went Murree and patrolled on roads and checked duty points of wardens.

The CTO said that traffic police assisted 1,168 tourists in Murree. He said that a huge numbers of tourists are expected to visit Murree on weekend for which all the arrangements have been finalised.