–Eid prayers to be offered in large grounds, parks under govt surveillance
KARACHI: Sindh Minister for Information, Local Government, Housing & Town Planning, Religious Affairs, Forest and Wildlife Syed Nasir Hussain Shah has said that all religious gatherings especially prayers of Jumu’atul-Wida and Eid-ul-Fitr in Sindh would be held in accordance with state issued standard of procedures (SOPs).
Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, the minister said that the 20-point guidelines issued by the federal government in this regard would be implemented in letter and spirit while ulemas of various schools of thought will be consulted to ensure a successful implementation of the order.
The minister was flanked by Law Adviser Murtaza Wahab and Education Minister Saeed Ghani.
Speaking on the occasion, Ghani said that when all the markets and shopping malls had been opened, then it was not right to ban Eid prayers and prayers in mosques.
He said that grounds and parks for Eid prayers would be identified and if the number of worshipers increased, Eid prayers would be offered more than once in the same place.
“If there is a large volume of people, the same venue will hold Eid prayers repeatedly until everyone has offered prayers,” he added, stressing that the crowd would be monitored by concerned authorities to make sure public follows the SOPs.
He said that tests for coronavirus were being carried out in Sindh province in accordance with the standards of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“People should pray for the country so that the country gets rid of the coronavirus pandemic soon,” he added.
Further, Ghani said that processions for Ramzan 21st had not been permitted after experts recommended against it and appreciated the ulema for following the decision to protect citizens.
However, he expressed concern that rules were being flouted in marketplaces.
Speaking of the federal government’s Tiger Force, Nasir Shah said that he does not see the force doing any beneficial work. “There is nothing but bluster surrounding the force, they will likely not make a real impact, however, we are open to helping them in their work in Sindh,” he added.
The information minister also said that the federal government “only finds faults in Sindh” as it was the Centre’s longstanding wish to have a governor’s rule imposed in Sindh which meant that the Centre’s offer to work together had been “nothing but lies and that too in the month of Ramzan”.
Shah said that the federal government was “unable to stomach” the measures taken by Sindh under PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto’s directives.
In response to a question, Shah denied Sindh wanting to remove or suspend Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar.
“We believe in democracy. We are also concerned over the Islamabad mayor’s suspension. Whoever has the mandate, must be allowed to follow through in his term,” he said.