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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Fawad Chaudhry’s tells ‘Moon’ sighting committee to enter the 21st Century

News Desk |

Fawad Chaudhry, Federal Minister for Science and Technology, took to Twitter to strongly criticise the Ulema and the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee (RHC), saying that ulema cannot be given the authority to dictate the day-to-day affairs of the country and the government would instead introduce a lunar calendar for the next 10 years to make moon sighting for Islamic months non-controversial.

Fawad said that a five-member committee had been constituted to prepare a ten-year calendar for Muharram, Eid and Ramzan to end the dispute arising from the sighting of the crescent.

He also strongly criticised the clerics, saying, “The decision about how the country will be run cannot rest with the religious clergy. Pakistan would not have gained independence if Ulema were given any authority as they used to oppose the creation of Pakistan and labelled [Quaid-e-Azam] Muhammad Ali Jinnah as an apostate. The journey ahead will not be led by religious leaders but the youth. Only technology can take our country forward.”

Read more: Is social media not happy with Fawad Chaudhry’s departure?

Mufti Muneebur Rehman Feels Insecure

The RHC Chairman Mufti Muneebur Rehman on Sunday asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to restrain ministers from commenting over religious matters without knowledge.

Speaking to the media, Mufti Muneeb urged the prime minister to rein-in ministers “as they seem to lack knowledge about the system.” He also lashed out at Fawad for saying that clerics had opposed Pakistan’s creation, saying that “history is a witness to the immense sacrifices the clerics made during the freedom movement and it is not appropriate to cite the role of a few clerics in order to criticise others.”

He said that Fawad has a habit of making baseless claims in order to stay in the limelight. “One must talk with caution while commenting on the clerics,” he said, adding that Fawad must know that RHC consists of members of Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO). He further said that RHC’s announcements have never been proven to be wrong.

Read more: Fawad Chaudhry mocks Bilawal’s ‘Karwan-e-Bhutto Train March’

Social media users appreciated Mr. Chaudhry’s ‘rational’ idea.

Another user said to bring it on. Since it is, she claimed, a real “tabili”.

Meleeha Hashmey congratulated the Federal Minister for being the first one to take bold and encouraging step. “Congratulations @fawadchaudhry on being the FIRST Minister for S&T, who has formed a committee of experts, who’ll issue UNIFORM Calender for #Pakistan – ENDING Eid date confusion, bringing HARMONY among all provinces! Mufti sb’s moon-sighting “charm” will be missed though! ”

Read more: Pakistan stands united as India is in shambles: Fawad Chaudhry

Prominent columnist Irshad Bhati also supported the idea and also shared a video of famous Islamic scholar Javed Ahmed Ghamdi to prove his point.


Shahzad Iqbal of Geo News also appreciated the idea and shared a video of a religious cleric from KPK who has just announced that the moon has been sighted.

Read more: Govt to control hate speech on Social Media: Fawad Chaudhry

Fawad’s proposed scientific committee

Fawad Chaudhury is proposing that a scientific committee should be set up to replace the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee for the sighting of the moon. He has mentioned that it should have five members — three scientists and one member each from the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) and Pakistan Meteorological Department. This committee would make the calendar for the next 10 years and remove the needless controversy over Eid dates every year. Recently, the National Assembly was informed that Rs3 million was spent on the sighting of the moon for Muharram, Ramazan, Eidul Fitr and Eidul Azha last year.

Furthermore, even currently the Ruet-i-Hilal Committee uses telescopes for the moon sighting if needed. It is believed that there shall be pressure on the Prime Minister to intervene because some religious segments are going to find the Federal Minister’s idea objectionable. However, people hope that the federal government shall support the minister and Pakistan will be able to end the long-standing controversy of moon sighting in the country.