The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government has refrained from making an official statement even as Peshawar’s influential Qasim Ali Khan Mosque announced late Sunday that Ramazan will begin on Monday.
According to the mosque’s clerics, including Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai, evidence of moon sightings were received from Peshawar and surrounding areas from six people, including a woman, on the basis of which they announced that the first fast of Ramazan will be observed in Peshawar on Monday.
Residents of Mirali town of North Waziristan, Barakambarkhel and Mamoond town of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will also observe Ramazan today.
Meanwhile, the government has not made any announcement yet and the provincial minister for religious affairs has said that the administration of Qasim Ali Khan Mosque has violated the promise as they had earlier agreed to convene a session on Monday.
Earlier, an emergency session was summoned in Peshawar for moon sighting at Qasim Ali Khan mosque after reports came in of receiving evidence.
The clerics of Qasim Ali Khan Mosque have earlier refused to accept the authority of the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee, which is due to meet on Monday for the moon sighting. The rest of Pakistan is likely to observe Ramazan from Tuesday.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2011.