Saturday May 25, 2024

Nation celebrates Eid ul Fitr with prayers for war-battered Gaza

President Zardari asks int’l community to ensure immediate peace in besieged strip

By Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai & Nausheen Yusuf & Zarmeen Zehra
April 10, 2024
Muslims hug eachother after offering Eid ul Fitr prayers at the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore on May 24, 2020. — AFP
Muslims hug eachother after offering Eid ul Fitr prayers at the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore on May 24, 2020. — AFP

Pakistanis are observing Eid ul Fitr Wednesday with prayers for their brothers and sisters in Gaza as Israel continues its deadly attacks on the besieged strip.

The latest update from Gaza's health ministry showed that the ongoing conflict, which started on October 7, has resulted in the confirmed deaths of at least 33,360 Palestinians. Tragically, many more are feared to be among the casualties, buried beneath the rubble and yet to be accounted for.

Hamas is currently studying a ceasefire proposal put forth by Israel, but the group said it does not meet the demands of freedom fighters.

In their Eid messages, Pakistan’s top leadership expressed solidarity with the war-torn nation and impressed upon the international community to ensure immediate peace in Gaza and provision of assistance to the Palestinians.

The day kicked off with Eid prayers, which marked an end to the month-long holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims fast from dawn till dusk. The three-day festival is observed to celebrate the completion of the fasting month by believers across the world.

'Help needy, poor, orphans'

President Asif Ali Zardari felicitated the Pakistani nation and the Muslim Ummah on the auspicious occasion and urged them to show compassion and generosity and share their happiness with the poor and needy.

In a statement, he said: "I pray to Allah Almighty to bring immense blessings, happiness, peace, and security to everyone on this blessed day."

"After all the fasting, prayers, and charity in the sacred month of Ramadan, we should be thankful to Allah Almighty for bestowing all the blessings and happiness on us."

"Eid ul Fitr is the day to share our happiness with others and show generosity to the deprived sections of society. On this auspicious day we should help the needy, poor, orphans, and destitute and share the happiness of Eid with them," he continued.

The president said Eid sends Pakistanis the message that as a nation, they are determined to overcome challenges, extend a helping hand to the needy, and [be] ready to work for a bright and prosperous future for everybody.

"In our everyday lives we should make an effort to become a united and strong nation by showing brotherhood and tolerance and ensuring social and economic justice and mutual unity and solidarity," he said,

Moving on, he added that on behalf of the Pakistan nation, “I want to give the message to the oppressed Muslims of Gaza and Palestine that the whole Pakistani nation express solidarity with you”.

"We impress upon the international community to ensure immediate peace in Gaza and provision of assistance to the Palestinians. The oppression, barbarity, and genocide by Israel is the gravest violation of human rights."

The president stressed that on this occasion of happiness, the nation should also not forget the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

He assured that the whole Pakistani nation stood with their Kashmiri brothers and sisters.

‘Compassion, generosity’

In his statement, Prime Minister Shehbaz extended his heartfelt greetings to the countrymen, noting that the day marked the end of Ramadan, a month of immense blessings, spiritual growth, forgiveness, patience, tolerance, and resilience.

“The underlying message of Eid is that of solidarity, compassion, generosity, and harmony, and inspires us to build a peaceful and prosperous society,” the prime minister, whose government faces an uphill task on the economic front, said.

He reminded people that while they enjoy the celebratory delight of this great occasion, they must not forget the least fortunate.

PM Shehbaz also asked the nation to remember those martyrs who have sacrificed their lives so that the masses live in peace and tranquility.

“We salute our gallant veterans who work tirelessly to protect our borders, maintain internal security and contribute to peacekeeping missions abroad. They deserve our utmost respect and recognition.”

He also urged Muslims around the world to remember their Palestinian and Kashmiri brothers and sisters who are facing the worst kind of atrocities of the occupation forces and they will be constrained to enjoy the joys of Eid.

“We all pray to Almighty Allah to ease their difficulties.”

“May the underlying meaning and significance of Islam spread among us all as a guide to the emancipation of humanity and may the world be filled with peace and harmony. Ameen!”

Remembering martyrs

Pakistan’s armed forces, alongside Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Sahir Shamshad Mirza and Service Chiefs, also extended their heartfelt wishes to all citizens, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.

"For a soldier, the true essence of Eid lies in the pride of serving on the frontlines, safeguarding our nation, away from loved ones and the festivities of Eid.

May the blessings of Allah shower upon our beloved homeland, ushering in peace and prosperity. Ameen."

The ISPR said on this auspicious occasion, “let us reflect upon the unwavering courage of our national heroes, serving as a beacon of inspiration for both the Armed Forces of Pakistan and the entire nation”.

“We remain eternally grateful to these brave souls and their families for their sacrifices. Let us pay homage to the martyrs of Pakistan, who laid down their lives in defence of the motherland, ensuring its safety and sovereignty.”