Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has launched Pakistan’s first moon sighting website and according to the newly-formulated five-year lunar calendar, Eidul Fitr will fall on June 5 this year.
Addressing the launching ceremony in Lahore on Sunday, Chaudhry said in his opinion Pakistan can do away with the traditional moon sighting methods used by the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee to end the moon sighting controversy on all important Islamic festivals, Express News reported.
“We have launched pakmoonsighting.pk website and Eidul Fitr will fall on June 5 this year … we have formulated the lunar calendar for five years which will be presented before the federal cabinet on Tuesday for final approval,” said the minister.
He also took to Twitter to announce the launch.
Since assuming office as the minister for science and technology, Fawad has been pushing for using science for the Islamic calendar .
Recently, the National Assembly was informed that an amount of Rs3.06 million was spent on the sighting of the moon for Muharram, Ramazan, Eidul Fitr and Eidul Azha in 2018.
Earlier this month, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) minister formed a five-member committee comprising officials from the ministry, Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) and Pakistan Meteorological Department to formulate the Hijri calendar.
The committee was tasked to prepare a lunar calendar and publish it by the 15th of Ramazan. Speaking at an event at Karachi University, he said the ministry was also working on a mobile phone app that will enable people to sight the moon on their devices.
Fawad also invited renowned clerics Mufti Muneebur Rehman and Shahabuddin Popalzai to see “how the moon cycle works”.
“We are inviting Maulana Muneebur Rehman and Shahabuddin Popalzai to come and witness how the moon cycle works,” wrote Fawad. “And see for themselves how easy science has made it to predict the lunar calendar. There is no need for an arduous task.”