Pakistan announces six day holidays for Eid Al-Fitr

People shop from stalls in a market, after Pakistan started easing the lockdown as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Karachi, Pakistan May 11, 2020. (REUTERS)
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Updated 17 May 2020

Pakistan announces six day holidays for Eid Al-Fitr

  • Pakistan’s official moon-sighting website says Eid will fall on Sunday, May 24
  • Due to coronavirus, all but essential businesses and shops to remain closed during holiday period

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has announced a six-day holiday period between May 22 to May 27 on account of Eid Al-Fitr, according to a statement released by the country’s interior ministry on Saturday.
During the holiday period, which will extend from Friday to Wednesday, all businesses, public spaces, community markets and shops have been directed to remain closed amid the coronavirus outbreak-- with some outlets selling essential items and medicines permitted to open, according to the statement.
In May last year, Pakistan’s minister for science and technology, Fawad Chaudhry, launched what he termed was Pakistan’s first official moon-sighting website and calendar which displays prominent Islamic events in the country over five years based on scientific evidence.
The ministry’s website marks Eid Al-Fitr in the country falling on Sunday, May 24 this year.
However, the national Ruet-e-Hilal committee is scheduled to meet on May 23 in Karachi for the Shawwal moon sighting as is tradition, according to the ministry of religious affairs.
Pakistan, which has been facing a surge in rates of coronavirus, began easing pandemic-related lockdowns last week with over 41,000 confirmed cases and 895 fatalities reported on Sunday. Public transportation has been opened up in some provinces amid the arrival of Eid, when traditionally, people return to their hometowns and visit relatives and friends.


Abu Dhabi's Etihad auditing Pakistan-issued pilot licences amid concerns

Updated 02 July 2020

Abu Dhabi's Etihad auditing Pakistan-issued pilot licences amid concerns

  • Says it is trying to verify the qualifications and licenses of the Pakistani pilots employed by the airlines
  • UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement it was in contact with authorities in Pakistan over the issue 

DUBAI: Etihad Airways is auditing its pilots with Pakistan-issued licenses, the Abu Dhabi airline said on Thursday.
Last month, Pakistan grounded 262 pilots amid suspicions they cheated on their examinations to operate aircraft, and the United Arab Emirates aviation regulator has said it was reviewing licenses issued in the country.
"We have worked closely with the (UAE) General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to verify the qualifications and licenses of the Pakistani pilots employed by Etihad," an Etihad spokeswoman told Reuters.
"While we can confirm the authenticity of these pilots, we are however carrying out further precautionary due diligence with an additional audit."
The GCAA in a statement released earlier on Thursday said it was reviewing its records to ensure no "suspicious licences issued by the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority" had entered its system.
The GCAA said it was in contact with Pakistani authorities but did not indicate whether it had taken any preliminary action against pilots with licences issued in the country.
On Tuesday, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) suspended two Pakistani airlines' authorization to fly to the bloc for six months.
A day earlier Vietnam announced that it was grounding all 12 Pakistani pilots working in the country.