ISLAMABAD: Despite the end of Eid-ul-Azha holidays, offices in the Federal Capital witnessed thin attendance on Friday with more than fifty percent federal government employees yet to return from their hometown.  Government employees enjoyed nine holidays of Eidul Azha this year with a majority allowed to take leave for August 16-17. According to a notification issued by Ministry of Interior, there would be public holidays from August 12 to 15 (Monday to Thursday), while August 17 (Saturday) will be a working day. All the government, semi-government reopened on Friday but observed very low attendance after the four-day official Eid holidays. The festive mood prevailed in most of the offices, and officials and staffs were seen exchanging Eid greetings with their colleagues. 

Sources in Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) claimed that the attendance in the office was below 60 percent and resident in the twin cities were present in the office. 

In Defence Ministry also only residents of the twin cities attended office with the full staff contingent expected to attend office on Monday, an official said.  

The total strength of federal government employees is 581,240, states the Establishment Division Report 2017-18. The number of employees belonging to occupational groups is 6,298. Federal government is being run by only 290,630 employees during 16 and 17 August (Friday-Saturday) and the rest return on Monday, a government official said.    

The government granted an additional one day holiday during the Eid festivities and revised the earlier notification issued by Ministry of Interior which allowed only three holidays for Eidul Azha. On January 7, 2019 Ministry of Interior released a list of nine public holidays in 2019. According to the notification, there would be a national holiday for Kashmir Day on February 5, Pakistan Day on March 23, Labour Day on May 1, Eidul Fitr from June 5 till June 6, Eidul Azha from August 12 till August 14, Independence Day on August 14, Ashura from September 9 till September 10, Eid Miladun Nabi on November 10 and Quaid-e-Azam Day on December 25.  The Federal Government also released a list of 23 optional holidays for the minorities living in Pakistan. These holidays include Basant, Shiv Ratri, Good Friday, Easter, etc. According to the notification, no Muslim Government Servant will be entitled to more than one optional holiday. Government officials from minorities who want to avail the optional holidays need to take prior permission from the head of their office. A non-muslim will be entitled three optional holidays in 2019. ENDs