Muslim worshippers defy security concerns over militants' attacks and head to mosques and markets across the country as Ramadan begins. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
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Tight security in Karachi as people gather for the first of special prayers to mark the beginning of the fasting month of Ramadan Sunday evening.
It is Islam's holiest month, during which observant believers fast from dawn to dusk.
Prayers come as the Taliban announces that their forces will launch a counter offensive in retaliation to a military operation in North Waziristan.
(SOUNDBITE) (Urdu) WORSHIPPER, MOHAMMAD ZAHID, SAYING:
"Verses from Allah's Holy book are being recited here. Can there be better security than that? Even if we are killed at least we will die while we are bowing before Allah."
In Islamabad Monday markets are open for business.
Ramadan is a month of austerity and of exercising self-restraint. But in Pakistan - like in most Muslim countries - it is also a month of feasting, with families and friends gathering at sunset for 'Iftar', the first meal eaten after dusk.
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