The citizens of the provincial capital are all set to observe fasting during the holy month of Ramadan amidst skyrocketing prices of daily commodities and unscheduled power outages.
Though not having the privilege to sight the much controversial moon themselves, the Muslim inhabitants of the metropolis relied on Ruet-e-Halal Committee Chariman Muftee Muneeb-ur-Rehman who had declared on Tuesday that the first day of the holy month would be on Thursday.
With the moon-sighting issue sorted, the unwavering faith of the Muslim inhabitants of the metropolis pulled them to mosques late on Wednesday night to offer ‘traveeh’ and seek forgiveness from the Almighty for year-long sins.
While the relatively more pious thronged mosques to connect with the Almighty, others remained busy connecting with people, exchanging pleasantries and wishing each other a blessed Ramadan. The cell phones kept buzzing while facebook statuses kept piling up one after the other – the celebrations were in order.
Tariq Wahab, who had come to the Badshahi Mosque to offer traveeh told Pakistan Today, “Muslims should use this month to re-evaluate their lives in light of Islamic guidance. We are to make peace with those who have wronged us, strengthen ties with family and friends, do away with bad habits, and clean up our lives, thoughts and feelings.”
RAMADAN SHOPPING FRENZY:
Like last year, prices of Ramadan-specific foodstuff including sugar, ghee, cooking oil, pulses, spices, fruits and vegetables have been raised with the advent of Ramadan while the government tires itself with tall claims of providing relief to the masses in the shape of Ramadan bazaars.
While the poor kept scratching their heads, fantasising about the food-less blessings the month promises, the affluent remained busy shopping till late, buying traditional Ramadan foodstuff.
As those aspiring to observe a fast or two swarmed the markets with pockets oozing with green and blue currency notes, the shopkeepers drooled as they made deliciously fattening delicacies like samosas and katchoris.
THIS IS JUST TOO EXPENSIVE:
People were also seen complaining for failure of government to check price hike and profiteering. They said prices of many commodities that remain in high demand in Ramadan have increased almost doubled as compared to previous months.
A shopper at Shadman Ramadan Bazaar said that there was not much difference of prices at Ramadan Bazaar and the open market. He asked the government to further subsidise daily commodities.
Moreover, City District Government Lahore (CDGL) finalised all its arrangements to facilitate citizens during the holy month of Ramadan.
This year, the CDGL authorities have establish as many as 20 Sasta Ramadan Bazaars in nine towns of the city. The DCO Lahore has claimed that different teams as well as Price Control Magistrates will check the price and quality of commodities at Ramadan Bazaars and any person involved in selling commodities above notified prices would be dealt with an iron hand.
Meanwhile, security arrangements in the provincial capital for the month of Ramadan were reviewed. Under the reviewed plan, as many as 5,000 cops will perform security duty in the city and security will remain on high alert during the whole month of Ramadan. There will be no permission to park motorcycles and vehicles in the hundred-yard radius of mosques.
DIG Operations Rai Tahir said that security around mosques, imam bargahs and shrines would be on high alert. Keeping in view the on-going wave of terrorism different cities of the country and especially in Punjab, it has been decided that only one gate for the entry and exit at the mosques can be utilised during jumma and traweeh prayers. The police sources further revealed that no carts and venders will be allowed to stand around mosques and if a shop was situated near the mosque, it would be shut down during prayers.