Science minister, RHC chief agree to work together

Efforts to build consensus to observe Eid, fasting on same day across country reiterated

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain and Ruet-e-Hilal Committee Chairman Moulana Abdul Khabir Azad in a meeting held on Tuesday reiterated their efforts to build consensus in the country to observe Eid and fasting on the same day.

The Ruet-e-Hilal Committee chairman invited the federal minister to attend the inauguration ceremony of the Moon Observatory on April 12.

Speaking on the occasion, Fawad said they wanted to create consensus regarding the moon sighting with the help of science.

Maulana Abdul Khabir also installed the moon app developed by the ministry on his mobile phone.

“The Ruet-e-Hilal Committee and Ministry of Science and Technology will work together on moon sighting issue”, Maulana Abdul Khabir said.

He also eulogised the services of Fawad for rejuvenating the entire science and technology sector.

This development comes shortly after Fawad had to clarify that RHC shall be the one to make the announcement of the beginning of the holy month of Ramzan, as per the laws of the country

After having landed in hot water due to his tweets last week, Fawad stressed the need to use science and technology for effective decision making.

“The foundation of our future depends on science, technology and education and we must employ technological innovations for effective decision making,” the science minister had said while speaking to media persons in Lahore on Sunday.

He had reiterated that the Ramzan moon will likely be sighted on April 13 and the first day of the holy month will be observed on April 14.

On Saturday last, Fawad had said that the holy month of Ramzan will commence from April 14 in Pakistan, wherein the minister had tweeted that the Ramzan moon will be clearly sighted on April 13 in Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and other cities.

These statements had caused controversy within the religious circles.

RHC Chairman Maulana Azad had said in a statement: “This may not be a matter of Shariah disobedience but shatters the national pride when there are different dates for commencement of Ramzan and Eids in the country.”

It is pertinent here to mention that RHC’s new chairperson was appointed by the federal government in December last year, replacing Mufti Muneebur Rehman.

The new chairperson, in January, said that he would try his best to bring harmony in observing Ramzan and celebrating Eid in the country in the years to come.

Whilst speaking on the federal minister’s statement, Maulana Azad had told a local news outlet: “Minister Fawad Chaudhry sahib should have waited for the meeting of the committee. Besides, a senior officer of the science ministry is a member of the committee.”

On Sunday, while clarifying his statements, Fawad had said that he had received a request from the religious affairs minister to allow the committee to oversee any and all announcements related to the advent of Islamic months such as Ramzan.

While acquiescing to the demand, Fawad had underscored the need to incorporate science and technology into the fabric of Pakistani society, particularly that of students. He remarked, “Imagine the quality of students we may produce if we do not even teach Darwin’s theory at schools.”

“I request the provincial governments to improve their quality of education and … focus on [subjects of] science and technology.”



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