close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
August 1, 2020

COVID-19 pandemic: Envoys advised to avoid offering Eid prayers in mosques

National

August 1, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Muslim ambassadors/high commissioners and diplomats posted in Islamabad have been advised to avoid offering their Eid prayers in mosques and make arrangement for the prayers at home in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

It would be the second Eid after Eidul Fitr that the diplomats will not be gathering at Faisal Mosque to offer their Eid prayers where head of the government/state also offer the prayer. Well-placed sources in the Foreign Office told The News here Friday that as per tradition Muslim envoys first offer their prayers at Faisal Mosque under an exclusive arrangement and afterwards visit the Presidency and Prime Minister House to exchange Eid greeting with the top authorities of the host country.

They have been informed by the officials concerned that no such arrangement would be made available on this Eid although President Arif Alvi had urged in the month of Ramazan that he would like to offer Eidul Fitr prayers with the ambassadors/high commissioners of the Muslim countries but the envoy expressed their disinterest in the arrangement. Consequently, the arrangements had to be called off. The administration was willing to make the arrangement in open since the place dedicated for mosque in the Presidency isn’t spacious.

The arrangements at the Presidency also provide opportunity to the services chiefs to have exchange of greetings with the president and it has become routine since late 70s when General Zia was head of state. The presidency becomes an open house on the Eid days, but it will be closed again like the Eidul Fitr today (Saturday) on Eidul Azha.

The prime minister has already left for Nathia Gali to observe Eid while the Presidency hasn’t made any arrangements to hold any such get-t-gather. It has turned the Eid day dull affairs for the envoys stationed in Islamabad.

Interestingly Saudi Ambassador Admiral Nawaf bin Said Al-Maliki and Iranian envoy Syed Muhammad Al-Hussaini and other important Muslim countries envoys are present in Pakistan to observe Eid but Ambassador of the UAE Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Alzaabi, Qatar Ambassador Sheikh Saud Abdul Rehman Faisal Al-Thani and Kuwait Nassar Abdulrahman J. Al-Mutairi are among the Muslim envoys whom are not in Islamabad but their deputies are working in their respective missions.

The ambassadors/high commissioners of non-Muslim countries also avail the opportunity and visit the Presidency on Eid to offer their felicitations to their fellow colleagues and the top official of Pakistan. The COVID-19 has deprived all the dignitaries from festive opportunity.

Its commendable that protocol division of the Foreign Office had been providing guidelines to the diplomats posted in Pakistan for taking care against the outbreak of the pandemic. Chief of Protocol Murad Ashraf Janjua kept burning his midnight oil throughout to assist the diplomats for keeping protected against the virus. Resultantly no diplomat in Pakistan was infected by the virus unlike in neighbouring capitals including Indian capital New Delhi, the sources pointed out.