PESHAWAR: A petitioner approached the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Friday, seeking a ban on unofficial moon sighting committees and punish, as per law, those making such announcements.

The writ petitions by senior lawyer Muhammad Khurshid argued such announcements have divided the people of province and have put them in great distress.

“In any Islamic state, the right of announcement for sighting moon for Eid and Ramazan commencement is the authority of the state,” said the petitioner. “But here we have dozens of local committees dividing the masses.”

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The petitioner named the central Ruet-e-Hilal committee, federal government, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, Jamia Dar al-Uloom Haqqania, Nowshera and Madrasa Khadija-Tul-Kubra Mardan as the respondents in the case.

The petitioner maintained that some religious scholars in Peshawar, Charssada and Mardan have always been in opposition to the official announcements.

“Due to their opposition to each other also, every year, Eid and Ramazan are observed on different days in the same province, causing even the most auspicious Islamic traditions to become controversial.”

It is, he asserted, the responsibility of the state to ensure the implementation of its rules and laws.