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.


At least 30 injured in grenade attack in Pakistan at Kashmir rally

Updated 05 August 2020

At least 30 injured in grenade attack in Pakistan at Kashmir rally

  • The attack was claimed by Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army, a separatist outfit that has become active in the past months
  • Organized by Jamaat-e-Islami, a religious right party, the rally was called off after the attack

KARACHI: At least 30 people were injured in a grenade attack on a rally in Karachi on Wednesday, as Pakistan marked the first anniversary of India’s revocation of Kashmir’s semi-autonomy.
The wounded were rushed to different hospitals, where one was in a critical condition, an official from the provincial health department said.
“A grenade was lobbed in the rally, causing several casualties,” Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon told Reuters.
The attack was claimed by Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army, a separatist outfit that has become active in the past months.
In June, four people were killed including two soldiers in three consecutive explosions claimed by the SRA.
The group wants Sindh province, of which Karachi is the capital, to break from the Pakistani federation. It has also announced its alliance with the Balochistan Liberation Army, a militant group fighting for greater autonomy for the Balochistan region in southwestern Pakistan.
The attack took place as similar rallies were held across the country. The Karachi rally, organized by Jamaat-e-Islami, a religious right party, was called off after the attack.
Last August, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government stripped Jammu and Kashmir — India’s only Muslim-majority state — of its special rights and split it into two federally administered territories.
The government said the change was necessary to develop the revolt-torn region and integrate it with the rest of India, but it infuriated many Kashmiris as well as neighboring Pakistan.
Kashmir is claimed in full by India and Pakistan, which have gone to war twice over it, and both rule parts of it.
Indian authorities deployed troops and curbed public movement on Wednesday to stop potential protests in Kashmir.