The federal government has approached the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and other stakeholders with the objective of reaching a consensus that would allow the entire country to celebrate the start of Ramazan and Eid-ul-Fitr on the same day. A senior official of the Ministry of Religious Affairs told Business Recorder, here on Tuesday that Federal Minister for Religious Affairs, Sardar Mohammad Yousaf has contacted the KPK Minister for Auqaf, Habibur Rehman for this purpose.

According to officials, Sardar Yosuaf also called on Mufti Popalzai, head of the Masjid Qasim Ali Khan in Peshawar, and appealed to him to agree on a joint moon sighting exercise. He has also contacted other religious leaders and scholars of other denominations urging them to reach a consensus on the start and end of Ramazan on the same in all parts of the country.

According to the officials, the KPK Auqaf Minister has not yet responded to the federal government’s proposal. Time is running out, the government officials stated as the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee will meet today (Wednesday) to sight the Ramazan moon which would be presided over by Mufti Munib-ur-Rehman, Chairman of the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee and representatives of the provincial governments.

When Mufti Munib was asked whether he has taken any steps to ensure that Ramanzan and Eid are celebrated on the same day throughout the country, he said it was not his issue and the government in collaboration with other stakeholders should resolve the problem. He said that the meeting will start in the evening at the building of Pakistan Meteorological Department Karachi (Met Complex) today. A senior official of Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said that there are very slim chances of moon sighting during the next 24 hours and it is expected that Ramazan will start from Friday June 19.

According to PMD, seasonal low lies over Balochistan with its trough extending south-east wards. A westerly wave is still affecting upper and central parts of the country. During next 48 hours mainly hot and dry weather is expected in most parts of the country. However, rain-thundershower with gusty winds is expected in isolated places in Kalat, Zhob, south Punjab (Multan, D G Khan and Bahawalpur divisions), Kashmir and adjoining hilly areas. Despite all efforts in the past, the dispute of Ramazan and Shawwal moon sighting has ended up in celebration of two Eids on two different days in the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015