Sheikh Sagheer showers foam on a cow before washing it at his car service station in Karachi, Pakistan. AFP
The days leading up to the Muslim feast of Eid Al Adha are busy for Uzair Dawood, the owner of a motorcycle wash in Pakistan's southern city of Karachi — not for fixing vehicles, but washing cattle.
Eid Al Adha falls on Saturday in the South Asian nation, and like Muslims across the world, Pakistanis purchase cattle to sacrifice on the occasion as a religious obligation.
A woman takes a photograph of her family members among camels at a cattle market in Karachi. AFP
"It is very busy day just a day before Eid and we don't have time for a bike wash," Dawood told Reuters as he busied himself lathering a cow with soap before using the pressure hose to clean the animal.
Sacrificial animals are treated with deference by Pakistanis, who often decorate the cattle they have purchased with colourful garlands.
A worker washes a motorbike while a bull waits inside for a spray wash at an automobile service station in Karachi. Reuters
"We bring these animals here because we want them neat and clean because it is an animal for sacrifice and we are happy to see it happy," one customer, Osama Haider Ali, told Reuters.
Another Karachi car-wash owner Sheikh Sagheer sees much of the traffic at his business switch from four wheels to four legs.
Locals bring him their cattle, sheep and goats for a thorough scrub down ahead of the animals' sacrifice during the three-day religious holiday.
Sagheer, 42, said the cow wash started when he was spotted cleaning his sacrificial animal ahead of Eid after opening his business a few years ago.
"The people who saw me washing the animal came to me with their own... that's how this trend started," Sagheer told the media.
A worker uses a pressure hose on a bull during a spray wash at an automobile service station in Karachi. Reuters
Many of the animals come from a huge market on the outskirts of Karachi -- reputed to be the largest Eid cattle bazaar in Asia -- that is packed with goats, cows, bullocks, sheep and camels.
The creatures are often dirty, dusty and speckled with dung after being transported then packed together at the market.
Sagheer charges just 100 rupees (about 60 cents) for a wash -- which includes a soak with a pressure hose, a lather with suds, a scrub and a rinse.
Dawood's shop is located in a densely populated district of Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, and is one of many vehicle service stations with customers queuing up with animals.
"Servicing" cattle is not as easy as motorcycles, says Dawood who charges 200 to 300 Pakistani rupees ($1.20 to $1.80) per wash, for which he uses shampoo, soap, brush and a hose.
"A vehicles remains in its place ... but washing an animal is risky. It can hit you, it can kick you. It can break the rope."
The coronavirus has cast a shadow over this Eid, with fears of another spike in infections prompting authorities to warn people to minimise movement, avoid cattle markets and refrain from public gatherings to witness the slaughter of sacrificial animals.
Sheikh Sagheer washes a cow for a customer at his car service station ahead of the Muslim festival of Eid Al Adha. AFP
"The charge is 100 rupees, which is nothing," said Mohammad Uzair, who brought in a large grey cow for a wash.
Across Pakistan, between eight and 10 million animals are sacrificed over Eid Al Adha, according to the Pakistan Tanners Association.
Sagheer says cleanliness is especially important because of the Coronavirus pandemic. "I make it a point to sanitise the animal with disinfectants," he said.
Agence France-Presse / Reuters
Prime Minister Imran Khan told journalists that there have been positive indicators in the exploration process and the nation would likely be hearing major news on this front within the next three weeks.
The reporter, whose identity remains unknown, could be heard saying, “This floodwater is gushing towards farmers’ crops… the crops are in danger due to the floods.”
Masroor Ali Siyal, a leader from the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, and Karachi Press Club President Imtiaz Khan were among the panelists on the show "News Line with Aftab Mugheri".
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday announced an Rs162 billion development package for Karachi city, which will be focused on priority areas like transportation and water provision. The package includes grants for 18 projects. The premier, who is on an official trip to Karachi, made the announcement during a meeting of the Karachi Transformation Committee, chaired by him.
London mayor Sadiq Khan said on Friday that the British capital's New Year's Eve fireworks display, which annually attracts tens of thousands of people, will not go ahead on December 31 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said based on its review of results of a study by UK researchers, it concluded that dexamethasone - a commonly used drug against a range of inflammatory conditions - can be considered a treatment option in adults and adolescents needing oxygen therapy.
Taiwan scrambled fighter jets on Friday as 18 Chinese aircraft buzzed the island, including crossing the sensitive mid-line of the Taiwan Strait, in an escalation of tensions as a senior US official held talks in Taipei.