Bled by sharp inflation, Pakistanis mark Eid ul Adha hoping for economic recovery

By
Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai
|
Nausheen Yusuf
|
Web Desk
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A man controls a bull before a sacrificial slaughter during Eid ul Adha festival in Karachi, on June 29, 2023. — Reuters
A man controls a bull before a sacrificial slaughter during Eid ul Adha festival in Karachi, on June 29, 2023. — Reuters

  • People feeling pinch of rising inflation.
  • PM asks nation to remember flood victims.
  • Sanjrani asks to keep differences aside.


With consumer prices going north and affordability down south, millions of Pakistanis are fervently marking Eid ul Adha, aka 'Bakra Eid', but not without feeling the pinch amid prayers for an economic turnaround — which the country needs desperately.

The South Asian nation faces one of its worst crises as the government struggles to revive a stalled International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, resulting in skyrocketing inflation and a record plunge in the rupee's value.

After Eid prayers on Thursday, men rushed to search for butchers to help them carry out the sacrifice of their animals — an obligation for those who are able to afford it.

During the festival, Muslims around the world slaughter animals — goats, sheep, bulls/cows, or camels — keeping a third part of the meat for themselves before giving a third to friends and relatives and a third to charity.

A sacrificial goat peeks through the entrance gate of a house, ahead of the Eid ul Adha festival in Peshawar, on June 28, 2023. — Reuters
A sacrificial goat peeks through the entrance gate of a house, ahead of the Eid ul Adha festival in Peshawar, on June 28, 2023. — Reuters

But several people were left out of this activity as the soaring prices left them unable to purchase an animal, denting their happiness.

"As a result of the inflation, people are unable to celebrate this Eid with joy. I pray that we overcome this economic crisis so that everyone is able to enjoy such festivities," human rights activist, Danish Siddiqui, 43, told Geo.tv.

Pakistan's annual inflation has also surged to a historic high of 38% as a result of supply shocks, economic uncertainty, and no checks on hoarding and profiteering.

"In the current situation, I keep praying that may God keep everyone safe," Adeela Wasif, a housewife, said, hoping for the betterment of the masses, especially those below the poverty line.

This Eid, especially, also allows people to cook traditional dishes — kaleji, katakat, rosh, brain masala, BBQ, and others.

"I'll be cooking a lot of dishes — chicken tikka, katakat, Kabuli rice — this year [...] and plan on distributing cooked food to the needy ones," vowed Dania Noor, a university student, told Geo.tv.

Remember flood victims: PM

On the occasion of Eid ul Adha, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has urged the people to take special care and remember those who became homeless due to last year's floods.

The PM, in a statement, said that he was cognisant that Pakistan was facing rising inflation triggered by "external issues in the shape of inflation and recession."

The prime minister felicitated the Pakistani nation and the Muslim ummah on the auspicious occasion of Hajj and Eid ul Adha as he prayed for the acceptance of all the religious rituals and sacrifices.

The prime minister said the incumbent government was utilising all its resources to provide relief to the public.

Men control a camel before its sacrificial slaughter during Eid ul Adha, in Peshawar, on June 29, 2023. — Reuters
Men control a camel before its sacrificial slaughter during Eid ul Adha, in Peshawar, on June 29, 2023. — Reuters

It had provided "maximum relief" to the salaried class, pensioners and labourers in the current fiscal budget.

The prime minister prayed for the peace and prosperity of the Muslim world and the alleviation of the sufferings of Muslims worldwide, particularly the oppressed brothers and sisters in Indian Illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Palestine.

The prime minister observed that peace, tolerance, brotherhood, and obedience to the commands of Allah were the messages conveyed through sacrifices and the performance of Hajj.

He added that meeting such requirements through practical attainment, coupled with pondering over the significance of the occasion and purpose behind it, would fulfil the real objectives of this Eid.

He said the basic philosophy behind Eid ul Adha was to sacrifice the dearest thing for Allah by showing sincerity and devotion.

'No nation can progress unless it has spirit of sacrifice'

Acting President Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani extended his heartfelt greetings to the whole nation on the blessed and joyful occasion of Eid ul Adha.

In a statement, he said Eid ul Adha was a wonderful symbol of obedience as on this day, Muslims commemorate the acts of obedience and submission performed by Prophet Ibrahim (AS) when God commanded him to sacrifice his son, Ismail (AS), which established such an eternal tradition of obedience and sacrifice that continued to be followed till the end of time.

"This spirit of sacrifice has a universal status. No nation in the world can progress unless it has the spirit of sacrifice," he said.

The acting president said the nation has to work together for the development and prosperity of the country. "We should keep all our interests, preferences and prejudices behind us."

He said that now was the time to overcome all political affiliations and adopt a common plan of action for the development and prosperity of the country.

"This country came into being as a result of endless sacrifices, tolerance and stability," he said.

He asked the people to take special care of their brothers and sisters who have been left behind due to the oppression of the situation.

"We should keep an eye around us so that none of our neighbours can miss out on the joys of this holy occasion."