Pakistani celebrities mark Eid Al-Adha with meaty dishes, designer dresses 

Short Url
Updated 10 July 2022

Pakistani celebrities mark Eid Al-Adha with meaty dishes, designer dresses 

  • Pakistani actors Ahsan Khan, Sarwat Gilani and others share their Eid Al-Adha plans 
  • Most celebrities opted for designer dresses, relished kaleji and sweets during Eid holiday 

KARACHI: From cooking up scrumptious meat dishes to attending barbecue parties and dressing to impress, Eid Al-Adha, more commonly referred to as ‘Bakra Eid,’ is never a dull occasion for Pakistanis. 

Celebrities are no exception. Arab News spoke to a number of stars to find out what they had planned for Eid, which renowned designer’s clothes they would be wearing and what they planned to serve on their Eid lunch tables. 

Ahsan Khan 

Pakistani actor Ahsan Khan, whose performance in drama ‘Udaari’ earned him enough accolades to last a lifetime and who is currently appearing in drama serial ‘Fraud’ with Saba Qamar, said every Eid, his wife shopped for white or blue clothes for him and his children. 

“I won’t like to share the designer’s name because it is not sponsored,” Khan told Arab News, laughing. 

Like others, he too relishes meat dishes every Eid Al-Adha. 

“Two things are a must in my home – kaleji (mutton liver) and roasted raan (mutton leg roast). I am a foodie as well as a meat lover,” the star of ‘Qayamat,’ ‘Shahrukh Ki Saaliyan’ and ‘Qissa Meherbano Ka’ said. 

This photo shows South Asian cuisine Kaleji Masala. (Photo courtesy:

Khan follows the Islamic ritual of sacrificing animals each year, overseeing the process of buying the animals, and lending a hand in distributing the meat. 

“If Ammi (mother) is around, we are usually together on Eid, she and Fatima (wife) take care of the household chores,” he said. “There is no other task except for qurbani (sacrifice) and namaz (prayer), while I think mingling with people is important.” 

Sarwat Gilani 

A-lister Sarwat Gilani, who recently won plaudits for her role in ‘Joyland’ that won two prizes at the Cannes film festival and is best known for her work in the web series ‘Churails’ and the blockbuster movie, ‘Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2,’ said she was lucky to get gifts of clothes from popular Pakistani designers to wear on Eid. 

“It is a privilege that us celebrities are gifted clothes on Eid and we don’t have to worry about making them,” she told Arab News. 

Sharing her Eid wardrobe plans, the actress said she would be wearing a dress by top designer Rizwan Beyg on the first day of Eid, and on the second day by Elan, a design house with a coveted couture, prêt-a-porter and a ready-to-wear line. 

On the third day of Eid, Gilani said she would be donning a dress made by renowned designer Farah Talib Aziz. 

Gilani’s cook will also be preparing delicious cuisines for the Eid Al-Adha holiday. 

“Sawaiyaan (vermicelli) for sure, fresh kaleji (mutton liver) and then there is always nihari,” she said, adding that biryani and brinjal with yoghurt are two other dishes she loves to have on Eid. 

This photo shows South Asian desert Sawaiyaan (vermicelli) (Photo courtesy: KitchenwithAbida/YouTube)

When the cook is in a good mood, Gilani revealed, he also makes fresh meat kebabs for her family. 

The actress also prepared for Eid by buying ready-made traditional kurtas for her husband and kids and arranged henna and bangles for herself and her staff. 

“Fresh flowers is a must on Eid because it just makes it very festive, and if I can get some phuljhadis (small fireworks which emit a shower of sparks), I get it for the boys for Chaand Raat (eve of Eid) and some patakhas (firecrackers).” 

Yasir Hussain 

Pakistani actor, comedian and writer Yasir Hussain said he wanted to keep it traditional on Eid by donning ‘shalwar kameez.’ Like the past few years, this year too, Shaffer, an online men’s clothing store, had sent him Eid outfits. 

The actor told Arab News he had bought two goats this year whose meat would be distributed among family, neighbors and the poor. 

This photo shows South Asian cuisine Pulao. (Photo courtesy:

“We make pulao at home and I like BBQ, so my friends come over and we eat together,” he said. 

Rubina Ashraf 

Rubina Ashraf, one of Pakistan’s most versatile TV actresses and most fondly remembered for essaying a police officer in ‘Pas-e-Aaina,’ said she didn’t have to go through the “headache” of getting Eid clothes made and would be wearing dresses sent by designer Farah Talib Aziz. 

Eid is always a busy time for Ashraf, who said she was occupied with shoots right until the day before Eid. 

“But the preparations that I want to do are who to entertain and who to visit – this is the kind of planning I want to do,” she added. 

“For food, there is the usual Eid stuff like lots of meetha (dessert), cake maybe.” 

Junaid Khan 

Pakistani singer and actor Junaid Khan, who rose to fame as the vocalist for the popular Pakistani music band, Call, told Arab News the traditional ‘kurta shalwar’ would be his dress of choice this Eid, while two traditional dishes would be on the menu at his house. 

This photo shows South Asian cuisine Qorma (Photo courtesy:

“This Eid is all about meat, so we make Qorma and Kaleji at home,” he told Arab News. “All one needs to prepare for Eid are the clothes, [be mindful of] namaz timings at the nearest mosque, and that one receives the meat timely.” 

After surviving floods, pregnant women in southern Pakistan labor for survival

Updated 03 October 2022

After surviving floods, pregnant women in southern Pakistan labor for survival

  • Around 97,49 pregnant and 2,008 lactating mothers are living at camps in Sindh
  • Nationwide 138,000 women in need of humanitarian assistance due to floods are pregnant

DADU: Writhing in pain, a feeble 20-year-old Farzana Bibi could not even muster the strength to swat away the flies that buzzed around her face as she lay inside a small tent along a highway in southern Pakistan, where hundreds like her have sought refuge after devastating floods swept away their homes last month.

It is hard to say if the worst has passed or is yet to come for Bibi.

As floods ravaged her village last month, the pregnant woman’s family was unable to get her to a doctor in time and she lost her baby. Now, she is one among nearly 15 million people affected by recent floods in the southern Sindh province, either living in tent-cities and makeshift shelters on roadsides or staying back in flooded villages, surrounded from all sides with water and struggling to live another day.

Among the survivors, the most vulnerable, doctors and officials say, are pregnant women, lactating mothers and newborns.

“It was raining there [at our village] … we could not reach here [the city] in time due to the rains… her son died in her womb” Bibi’s brother, Aijaz Ali, said as she lay next to him on a plastic mat on the dusty ground. “She is ill and complains that there is pain in her leg and body still.”

Aijaz Ali speaks to Arab News as his sister Farzana Bibi lies on a plastic mat inside a tent in Dadu, Sindh, on September 28, 2022. (AN Photo)

According to the Sindh health department, 9,749 pregnant women are living in camps across the province where 3,803 have given birth and 2,008 are lactating mothers.

According to the latest assessment by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), around 138,000 women nationwide in need of humanitarian assistance due to the floods are pregnant and 40,000 are expected to deliver their babies in September or early October.

Medics are particularly concerned about women who cannot access medical care in time, who have complications requiring delivery via cesarean sections or those who develop postpartum haemorrhaging, both of which can be deadly or result in disability without access to specialized health care. Even before the flooding, nationally 186 women died per 100,000 live births, according to official figures.

That rises to 224 per 100,000 births in Sindh province, and 298 maternal deaths per 100,000 births in Balochistan, another province hard hit by floods.

A mother swats flies away from her newborn baby at a temporary shelter in Mehar, Sindh on September 28, 2022. (AN Photo)

At the Kakkar tent-city camp in Sindh, more than 60 women are expecting while two have recently given birth. Doctors fear for their health.

“This is a vulnerable situation because they are not getting proper treatment,” Flight Lt. (R) Musarrat Shah, a social activist who runs the tent-city, told Arab News. “For two months, to live in this tent city is not very easy for newborn babies or for pregnant ladies.”

Dr. Muhammad Ali Chandio, a doctor at the Dadu tent-city, said he feared the spread of diseases among women and newborns without proper treatment.

“If the mothers have deficiencies due to [lack of] folic acid, abnormal children are born. If there emerges a case of birth asphyxia, it can be dangerous for the kid and the mother,” Dr. Chandio told Arab News. 

A newborn baby at a temporary shelter cries in Mehar, Sindh on September 28, 2022. (AN Photo)

Health authorities, however, said the government was making arrangements for women.

“Nutritional supplements for pregnant women and children are being provided to ensure that there is some resistance to malnutrition,” Mehar Khursheed, a spokesperson at the Sindh health department said, adding that UNFPA had collaborated with the Health Department, Aga Khan University Hospital, Pathfinder and Pakistan National Forum for Women Health to provide relief to pregnant women. 

She said a record was being maintained for pregnant women, their gestation periods, delivery dates and medical histories. Ambulances were also on standby to shift pregnant women to tertiary hospitals and arrangement were in for makeshift operation theaters and women doctors.

But three government-run and private shelters in the cities of Dadu and Mehar had no female doctors when Arab News visited them last week. Women there complained they hardly had access to proper food. 

“We are starving,” said Nazia, 27, who recently gave birth to a baby girl at the Mahar tent-city. “We get a plate of rice for the entire family.”

Pakistan court accepts ex-PM Khan’s apology on contempt charges, quashes case

Updated 03 October 2022

Pakistan court accepts ex-PM Khan’s apology on contempt charges, quashes case

  • Contempt charges involve Khan allegedly threatening female judge after a close aide was denied bail in sedition case
  • Islamabad High court was expected to indict Khan, which could have led to his disqualification from politics if convicted

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Monday accepted former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s written apology in a contempt charge stemming from remarks against a female judge that were seen as threatening, quashing the case.

The charges are related to a speech by Khan in which he allegedly threatened police and a female judge in August after one of his close aides was denied bail in a sedition case. The Islamabad High Court initiated contempt charges against Khan but stopped short of inducting him after he apologized in a hearing last month. Instead, the court instructed Khan to submit an affidavit for consideration of the court before the next date of hearing, October 3.

“We have seen the affidavit [submitted by Khan], and we are satisfied with the written apology,” IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah said in court. “Imran Khan has demonstrated honesty and we are satisfied with his conduct.”

The chief justice then discharged the contempt notice in a unanimous decision of a five-member bench.

Attorney-General of Pakistan, Ashtar Ausaf, opposed the dismissal, citing previous judgments of the Supreme Court in which lawmakers were disqualified from holding public office for contempt of court.

Talking to reporters after the hearing, Khan said: “Justice Athar Minallah has handed down great decisions.”

Conviction in the contempt case could have led to Khan’s disqualification from politics for at least five years under Pakistani law.

The cricket-star turned politician has faced a barrage of legal woes since his ouster in a vote of no-confidence in April by a united opposition led by his successor, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Another of the critical cases against him is related to foreign funding for his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, which an inquiry by an election tribunal has found unlawful.

5.7 million Pakistani flood victims to face food crisis — UN

Updated 03 October 2022

5.7 million Pakistani flood victims to face food crisis — UN

  • Even before floods, WHO says, 16 percent of Pakistanis were living in moderate or severe food insecurity
  • Islamabad insists that there is no immediate worry about food supplies as wheat stocks are enough

ISLAMABAD: The United Nations humanitarian agency is warning that about 5.7 million Pakistani flood survivors will face a serious food crisis in the next three months, as the death toll from the deluge rose on Monday. 

Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority reported that floods fueled by abnormally heavy monsoon rains have killed 1,695 people, affected 33 million, damaged more than 2 million homes and displaced hundreds of thousands now living in tents or makeshift homes. 

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in its latest report Saturday said the current floods are expected to exacerbate food insecurity in Pakistan and said 5.7 million people in flood-affected areas will be facing a food crisis between September and November. 

Even before the floods, according to the World Health Organization, 16 percent of the population was living in moderate or severe food insecurity. 

However, Pakistan’s government insists that there is no immediate worry about food supplies, as wheat stocks are enough to last through the next harvest and that the government is importing more. 

The UN agency said in a tweet on Monday that the agency and other partners have scaled up their flood response and delivered aid to 1.6 million people directly affected by the deluges. 

OCHA said outbreaks of waterborne and other diseases are on the rise in Sindh and southwestern Baluchistan provinces, where floods have caused the most damage since mid-June. 

Several countries and UN agencies have sent more than 131 flights carrying aid for survivors, but many are complaining they have either received too little help or are still waiting for it. 

The UN humanitarian agency also said in its Saturday report that rainfall in Baluchistan and Sindh lightened substantially over the past week, as temperatures start to decrease ahead of winter. 

“Normal conditions are prevailing in most districts of Baluchistan, while in Sindh, the Indus River is flowing normally,” said OCHA. Overall, it added, in 18 out of 22 districts of Sindh, floodwater levels had receded at least 34 percent, and in some districts up to 78 percent. 

A woman displaced because of the floods reacts to her daughter as she prepares flat breads outside her tent while taking refuge in a camp, in Sehwan, Pakistan, on September 30, 2022. (REUTERS)

The OCHA report also highlighted the ordeal of flood survivors, saying many continue to live in “unsanitary conditions in temporary shelters, often with limited access to basic services, compounding the risk of a major public health crisis.” 

It said pregnant women are being treated in temporary camps when possible, and nearly 130,000 pregnant women need urgent health services. 

“Already before the floods, Pakistan had one of the highest maternal mortality rates in Asia, with the situation likely to deteriorate,” it said. 

The UN is due to issue a revised appeal seeking an additional $800 million from the international community to respond to the soaring life-saving needs of Pakistani flood survivors. The UN said last week that “food is being delivered to vulnerable families; however, it is still not enough to meet the nutrition needs of the people.” 

Pakistan says floods caused about $30 billion of damage to its economy. 

Floods washed away thousands of kilometers of roads, destroyed 440 bridges, and disrupted railroad traffic. 

Pakistan Railways said it has started restoring train service from Sindh to other cities after repairing some of the tracks damaged by floods. 

At historic Karachi temple, Hindus eat, pray, dance during nine-day Navaratri festival

Updated 03 October 2022

At historic Karachi temple, Hindus eat, pray, dance during nine-day Navaratri festival

  • In Pakistan, the Navaratri festival began on September 26 and will last till October 4, followed by Dussehra on the 10th day
  • The devotees honour nine manifestations of their goddess, Durga, for her strength, power and ability to protect the weak

KARACHI: Men, women and children greet each other at an open space around the Shri Swaminarayan temple in the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi. The attendees have gathered at the brightly lit, 234-year-old temple to celebrate the annual Hindu festival of Navaratri.  

In Pakistan, the nine-day festival began on September 26 and will continue till October 4. During this period, the devotees honor nine manifestations of their goddess, Durga, who is revered in the Hindu mythology for her strength, power and ability to protect the weak.  

The Swaminarayan temple situated in the Serai Quarters area is not only frequented by Hindus living in the neighbourhood, but members of the community from elsewhere in the bustling megapolis too.   

A worship spot is set up at the center of the open space with seating for men and women on each side, segregated with a tent. The visitors worship the goddess, donate food and other things before joining the festivities.   

It starts with children, women and men playing Dandiya Raas (a traditional dance holding short sticks in hands that traces its root to India's Gujarat) around the worship spot. This is followed by a Ram Leela act, performed by men, even the roles of women characters.   

“We celebrate Goddess Durga in Navaratri,” Gunwanti Ramesh Verma, a housewife in her early 40s, told Arab News on the 5th night of the festival on Friday.  

“For nine days, we perform Dandiya Raas and worship [Durga], wear nice clothes, make delicious desserts and celebrate the occasion together.”   


A large number of women and children from the Hindu community gather to celebrate Navaratri at the Shri Swaminarayan temple in Karachi, Pakistan on September 30, 2022. (AN Photo)

After running through nine nights, Navaratri concludes with Dussehra on the 10th day.   

“When Lord Rama had a war with Ravana, Bhagwan (Lord Rama) needed a lot of force. Praise for Goddess Durga was held for two days, after which the goddess herself emerged,” Sunita Mukesh, a 31-year-old beautician, told Arab News.   

"The goddess then handed over the manual to Lord Shri Rama Chandra. Hence, we worship Goddess Durga for nine days and celebrate Navaratri with full zeal."  

Ravana is burnt on Dussehra, the 10th day of Navaratari, which signifies the triumph of good over evil.   

Women and girls form a circle to perform Dandiya Raas in an open space close to the Shri Swaminarayan temple in Karachi, Pakistan on September 30, 2022. (AN Photo) 

“On the 10th day, Ravana will be burnt here [Shree Swaminarayan Hindu Temple],” Jawaharlal Advani, a member of the managing committee at Shri Swaminarayan temple, told Arab News.   

"Ravana isn't burnt anywhere else in Karachi."  

As Navarati marks the celebration of the strength of Goddess Durga, it is often aligned with women’s empowerment. Hindu devotees worship their goddesses for nine days staring from Shailputri on day one, followed by Brahmcharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kaalratri, Mahagauri, and Siddhidhatri on day nine.   

“The way men and women walk side by side in today’s time, we worship these goddesses during the nine days and give importance to them,” said Roshni, a 24-year-old corporate employee who only gave her first name.   

For some, Navaratri is a time of religious reflection and fasting, while for others it is a time to dance, feast and celebrate. Among the fasting customs are observing a strict vegetarian diet and abstaining from alcohol and certain spices. 

The Shri Swaminarayan temple is lit up for Navaratari festivities, with men and women seated on either side of a tent in Karachi, Pakistan on September 30, 2022. (AN Photo)

“Throughout the nine nights, Navaratri is celebrated at all Hindu temples in Karachi, Pakistan and the entire world,” said Jyoti Maheshwari, a journalist by profession.   

"We observe fast for nine days, alongside worship, while men, women and children gather at the temple and perform Dandiya, Garba, etc." 

Pakistan PM says ‘deeply obliged’ to China for increase in volume of flood aid

Updated 03 October 2022

Pakistan PM says ‘deeply obliged’ to China for increase in volume of flood aid

  • Pakistan is reeling from the aftermath of deadly floods that have cost an estimated $30 billion 
  • Deluges have affected 33 million people, forced Islamabad to seek debt relief from the world 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday said he was “deeply obliged” to the Chinese government for helping flood-affected people in the South Asian country, increasing the aid volume to RMB644 million ($90 million). 

Pakistan is reeling from the aftermath of catastrophic floods that have killed nearly 1,700 people since the onset of monsoon season in mid-June. 

The deluges have affected more than 33 million people, washed away crops on millions of acres and cost an $30 billion in economic losses, with hundreds of thousands forced to stay in shelters and out in the open. 

On Sunday, PM Sharif thanked the Chinese government, Communist Party of China (CPC), Red Cross Society of China and the People’s Liberation Army for the relief assistance. 

“Our Chinese friends continue helping the flood victims in Pakistan,” the Pakistan premier said in a Twitter post. “Total volume of aid has increased from 400 million RMB to 644 million RMB.” 

China is a key economic and political partner of Pakistan, pushing ahead with a $54 billion economic corridor that will build infrastructure and give Beijing an outlet to the Indian Ocean, although Chinese interests have also faced attacks from separatists. 

Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also called on Pakistan to seek debt relief from China. The South Asian country owes about 30 percent of its external debt to Beijing. 

Pakistan’s economy is facing a balance of payments crisis, a widening current account deficit, a slide in its currency to historic lows, and inflation crossing 27 percent. 

PM Sharif last month appealed to the world and rich nations for immediate debt relief, saying what had been done was commendable, but “it’s far from meeting our needs.” 

Sharif, who was in New York to attend the UN General Assembly, said Pakistan had taken up the debt relief issue with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and world leaders.