PM felicitates Muslim community, nation on advent of Ramadan

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, front. (AFP)
Updated 17 May 2018
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PM felicitates Muslim community, nation on advent of Ramadan

  • Abbasi said individual and collective success is dependent on adopting and following the discipline and right direction in life.
  • Prime Minister said Ramadan is a month of self accountability and self-transformation.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has congratulated the Muslim community of the world and Pakistanis on the advent of the Holy month of Ramadan.
In his message to the nation, the prime minister said with the advent of the blessed month, Allah Almighty has given us the opportunity to take full benefits from the generosities and blessings of this month.

The prime minister said Ramadan is a month of self accountability and self-transformation, which provides the opportunity of showing patience and controlling your desires.
He said fasting creates the ability among the Muslims to spend their lives with patience and discipline.
The prime minister said individual and collective success is dependent on adopting and following the discipline and right direction in life.

He said for bringing real change in our lives and society, it is a must to make our attitudes according to the code and spirit of Ramadan, which our religion had taught us.

The prime minister called for implementing the spirit of Ramadan’s fasting not only in personal but also in national life, adding that fasting plays basic role in creating these greatest values in our lives.

“Therefore we should make special efforts to ensure the respect and sanctity of this sacred month,” he added.
The prime minister prayed to Allah Almighty to bless them with the courage to observe fasting in this holy month with commitment. “I pray that Allah Almighty through the blessings of this holy month helps us in addressing the challenges faced by our motherland, Ameen,” he added.


In Peshawar prison, women inmates share food and prayers in Ramadan

Updated 26 May 2019
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In Peshawar prison, women inmates share food and prayers in Ramadan

PESHAWAR: Located next to iconic landmarks like the Provincial Assembly and the High Court, the central prison in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar is a handsome old building bursting at the seams with over 18,000 prisoners. 38 of them are women.

The existing building was established in 1854 with an occupancy limit of 425 prisoners, but with the influx of thousands of inmates, a new block is now under construction and slated for completion by the end of the year. 

Inside the prison kitchens, convicted prisoners make round traditional bread and prepare Iftar meals for other inmates. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)

The prison department provides basic facilities and food to inmates still under trial and to those convicted in the male, female and juvenile sections. During the month of Ramadan, these facilities extend to include special meals at Iftar, like sweet rice, chicken and potatoes served with a side of milky hot tea. 

A female inmate cooks chicken gravy for herself and other prisoners in the prison barracks before Iftar. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)

“We get good food in this month (of Ramadan) and are free to offer our prayers and recite the Holy Quran at any time,” said Shahida, an inmate who has been in the prison for five years but was convicted for murder late last year. 

Acting superintendent of the prison releases prisoners after the court orders arrive. The inmates receive the good news right before Iftar time in Ramadan. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)

The large hall of the women’s section has a scattering of beds, but most inmates sleep, eat and pray on quilts spread out on the floor. 

A police officer stands guard outside the entrance to the women’s section in Peshawar’s central jail. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)

"Some of the women get sick often,” said Iffat Shaheen, assistant superintendent of the women’s prison section. “Right now we have two pregnancy cases and one case of HIV AIDS, so we try to give them good meals. A few prisoners have small children inside prison with them and they get milk as well.” 

A female inmate gives English lessons to some of the children at the Peshawar central prison. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)

Another female inmate convicted for possession of drugs has been in prison for seven months. She declined to be identified but said they had a lot of free time in Ramadan that could be put to good use. 

Women in Peshawar’s central prison spend their days reading the Quran and reciting prayer beads during the month of Ramadan. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)

“This is a helpful time for us to learn skills like handicrafts and sewing,” she said. “When we leave prison, perhaps these things will pave the way for a good, halal living.” 

A woman inmate at Peshawar’s central jail has decorated her hands with henna in anticipation of the holy festival of Eid, which will mark the end of Ramadan. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)
Rooh Afza, a popular indigenous drink made from herbs and flowers, is served around Peshawar’s central prison by the bucketfuls before Iftar. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)
Weekly menu written out for prisoners at Peshawar’s central jail in Urdu. May 25, 2019. (AN photo by Saba Rehman)