As Muslims across Pakistan celebrated Eid ul Adha on Wednesday, coronavirus cast a pall on the celebrations for a second consecutive year.
Eid celebrations in the country, which will last till Friday, come at a time when a steady rise in COVID-19 cases has been witnessed and the threat of the Delta variant looms large.
Owing to the potential of Eid becoming a super spreader event — and a probable cause for the fourth wave — the government has urged the nation to scale back on gatherings.
Not ones to be easily dissuaded from celebrating the occasion with traditional zeal and fervour, Pakistanis were seen filling up the mosques with government-mandated SOPs.
People should maintain social distancing during Eid prayers, avoid hugging, and extend only greetings. The government has made special security arrangements to ensure peaceful observance of the three-day festivity across the country.
President and prime minister's messages
President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan, in their messages, felicitated the Pakistani nation and the whole Muslim Ummah on the occasion of Eid ul Adha and expressed their best wishes.
The president stressed the people to extend all possible help and support to the poor and the needy on the auspicious occasion of Eid ul Adha.
He said the day rekindled the lessons of supreme sacrifices and obedience of Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) and Hazrat Ismail (AS).
The day reminded us that Allah had tested his pious people through different ordeals and it was a lesson for us to remain prepared and determined for any test in life, he said.
"Giving sacrifices to achieve an objective is the key to success," he added.
The president said the world was still under the shadow of coronavirus, which had badly affected humanity across the world. Even the big and powerful governments had failed to provide relief to their people, he said.
He appealed to the nation to strictly observe coronavirus precautionary measures including wearing of masks, hand washing and social distancing, so that they could succeed in overcoming the global challenge with determination.
The president said the world was still under the shadow of coronavirus, which had severely affected humanity across the world. "Even the big and powerful governments had failed to provide relief to their people."
He appealed to the nation to strictly observe coronavirus SOPs in a bid to successfully get rid of the pandemic.
Moreover, PM Imran Khan said that a nation could not develop without the spirit of sacrifice.
The prime minister said sacrificing an animal on this holy festival manifested that a person has to sacrifice human desires for the achievement of the highest ideals.
Such a passion generated a quality in humans that would not let them side-track from the right path, he observed.
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