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Two Eids in Pakistan, again

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Islamabad:-KP info minister says province will celebrate first day of Eid on Tuesday (today) on basis of ‘a large number of testimonies’ of moon sighting 

–Science Minister Fawad says ‘it’s sad to see how clerics have detached science from religion’, reiterates Eid will be on Wednesday 

The country will once again have two Eids as the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government of the ruling Pakistan Tehree-e-Insaf (PTI) on Monday announced that it had decided to celebrate Eidul Fitr on Tuesday after taking into account ‘testimonies’ of moon sighting all over the province.

KP government spokesperson Shaukat Yousafzai said that the decision to hold Eid was taken by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan. The chief minister and governor will offer Eid prayers at the Governor House.

The KP information minister said that the government received a number of testimonies for Shawwal moon sighting from the erstwhile Federal Administrative Tribal Areas (FATA).

“We will celebrate Eid on Tuesday for provincial harmony,” he said.

The announcement came hours after Peshawar’s Masjid Qasim Ali Khan announced to observe Eid on Tuesday.

Shahab-ud-din Popalzai, the chief cleric, claimed to make the decision in light of 25 witnesses received from ‘all over the provinces’. The unofficial Ruet-e-Hilal Committee meeting was held at the mosque on Monday.

Meanwhile, the official Ruet-e-Hilal Committee will meet tomorrow in Karachi to review moonsighting. The science minister has already said that the government of Pakistan will observe Eid on June 5.

.Lashing out at clerics during a press conference in Islamabad on Monday, Fawad said that it is sad to see how they have detached science from religion.

He said that Muslims pioneered scientific research in the past because Islam compels Muslims to seek knowledge and apply it wherever possible. He urged the clerics to use common sense when it comes to moon-sighting.

“The moon for Eidul Fitr had been sighted at 3:02pm and altitude of today’s moon was one per cent with its luminosity recorded at 0.1 per cent,” he said, adding that the sun and moon are both moving in their own cycles and it is imperative to documents their movements.

He said that there are countries where the sun and moon do not appear for days but religious occasions are observed properly there.

“Islam is for the whole world, not just Pakistan,” he said. “We are recording all of this but does that mean we can see the moon, because the time the sun and moon set happens to coincide, so the moon cannot clearly be seen,” he added.

Fawad said that according to the data available with the meteorological department, the moon will be visible to all on Tuesday with those at the coastal regions of Karachi and Gwadar being even able to see it with the naked eye. He further said that observatories of the meteorological department are open for the general public so they could catch a glimpse of the moon.

The minister has previously said that the country should adopt modern methods of moon-sighting instead of wasting resources on the traditional ways.

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