Pakistan dedicates Eid festival to Kashmiris

People praying during Eid al-Adha in Karachi yesterday. Islamabad has called for the festival to be observed in a "simple manner", to express solidarity with Kashmiris living on the Indian side of the divided region. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
People praying during Eid al-Adha in Karachi yesterday. Islamabad has called for the festival to be observed in a "simple manner", to express solidarity with Kashmiris living on the Indian side of the divided region. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

ISLAMABAD • People gathered in mosques across Pakistan yesterday to offer special prayers for Eid al-Adha, the second of Islam's two major religious festivals.

The Pakistani government has called for the festival to be observed in a "simple manner" this year, to express solidarity with Kashmiris living on the Indian side of the divided region.

On Aug 5, India revoked a constitutional provision that had allowed its only Muslim-majority state, Jammu and Kashmir, to make its own laws, and also broke up the state into two federally administered territories.

The changes are the most sweeping in the nearly 30 years that India has been battling a revolt in its portion of Kashmir, parts of which are claimed by Pakistan and China.

Pakistan expelled India's ambassador and suspended trade in an angry response to New Delhi's move.

Yesterday, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi travelled to Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, to offer Eid prayers at a mosque there.

"(I) have come here to express Pakistan's solidarity with you," Mr Qureshi told worshippers.

In the southern Pakistani city of Karachi, prayers were dedicated to Kashmiris in India.

"We are together with our Kashmiri brothers," said resident Mohammad Adnan.

"We share their pain and grief. Today, special prayers were offered for them inside the mosque," he said.

Eid al-Adha or the festival of sacrifice is celebrated each year on the 10th day of the 12th and final month of the Islamic lunar calendar.

As many as 10 million animals worth up to US$3 billion (S$4.2 billion) are sacrificed during the festival, the Pakistan Tanners' Association said.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 13, 2019, with the headline 'Pakistan dedicates Eid festival to Kashmiris'. Print Edition | Subscribe