Sacrifice is one of the most civilizing aspect of human nature. In Islamic tradition sacrifice on the 10th of Zilhaj is a commemoration ritual of the sacrifice offered by Prophet Ibrahim (AS) to obey the command of Allah. Today Muslims all over the world celebrate Eidul Azha as a festival of sacrifice.
In Pakistan Eidul Azha is a religious, cultural and social event. It marks the biggest movement of all kinds of sacrificial animals in country. Cows, goats, sheep, camels and other animals assemble in large gatherings at designated places. Apart from the shopping of clothing and grocery, the sale of sacrificial animals triggers the biggest economic activity of the year.
Last year talking about the volume of economic activity, Mian Zahid Hussain President of Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) said that in 2018 the sale of sacrificial animals amounted to Rs 335 billion. But this year the figure is expected to reach around 400 billion threshold. The sacrificial animals are sold for around 300 billion. The amount earned by butchers and hide & skin dealers aggregate to over 35 billion.
According to the Pakistan Bureau of statists’ April 2019 update, inflation is at its highest in the last five years. The percentage has risen to 9.41. With each passing month the percentage is increasing unabated. Petroleum prices are also at the highest ever mark. Amid rising inflation and overburdening of the common man with excessive taxes, this Eid might not be too fruitful as far as business activity is concerned.
Waste management could be a major issue if not tackled on war footings. As Eidul Azha is coming in monsoon season, there is a high possibility of rain during Eid days and after. The weather forecast for Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad is already predicting rain from Friday to Tuesday. Provincial and city district authorities should work in close coordination to look after garbage collection and rain water drainage issues.
Citizens are flocking to cattle markets in large numbers to buy animals. The high rates is currently hampering the sales, it remains to be seen how the activity will turn out in the last couple of days.