Every year Pakistan sees the controversy of having multiple Eids as different parts of the country celebrate Eid on different days. This year, as the annual festival approaches, the question again arises; when is Eid in Pakistan?
Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated on Friday, May 14 according to the calendar and the Ruet App, said the Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday.
The minister, however, in a tweet also clarified that the final decision in this regard will be announced by the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee.
According to the calendar and the moon sighting app, the moon will appear on May 13 and Eid will be on May 14, the information minister added.
However, some committee members have expressed concerns over what they called the premature statements by Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry regarding the expected date of Eid.
Several members have registered concerns to Ruet-i-Hilal Committee (RHC) chairman Maulana Abdul Khabeer Azad that such statements by the minister would only encourage clerics such as Mufti Popalzai of Peshawar’s Qasim Khan mosque to continue to undermine the authority of the committee this year too.
“We are engaged with clerics of all schools of thought and various groups, involving them in the process,” the Ruet-i-Hilal committee chairman said, recalling that the Qasim Khan mosque management had observed Ramazan with the rest of the nation.
“I am sure that they will respect the decision of the Ruet-i-Hilal Committee over Shawwal moon too,” he added.
Responding to a question by the media about this matter, Maulana Azad said it was essential to turn our back on the wrong past when up to four Eids were celebrated in the country.
The Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee meeting will take place today in the capital to sight the Shawwal moon.
The meeting will take place in Islamabad under the chair of RHC Chairman Maulana Abdul Khabir Azad, as per an earlier statement of the committee.
The meetings of zonal committees would take place in their respective areas, while the central committee would gather witnesses from across the country.
Azad has earlier stated his resolve to ensure that Eid is celebrated on the same day throughout Pakistan.
Earlier, the Meteorological Department had said that Pakistan would observe Eid-ul-Fitr on Friday, as there was “no chance” of citing the Shawwal moon on May 12, Wednesday.
Meanwhile, parts of erstwhile FATA are celebrating Eid on Wednesday.
Police have registered a case against two North Waziristan clerics for announcing the sighting of the Shawal moon and declaring Eidul Fitr on Wednesday—a day earlier than the rest of the country and before the official Ruet-e-Hilal committee even started.
On Tuesday, some people went to a cleric in North Waziristan’s district Mir Ali and testified that they saw the Shawal moon. After considering their testimony, the cleric made the announcement from the mosque’s loudspeaker and declared Eidul Fitr on Wednesday.
On the orders of the administration, the police registered a case. Those who testified they saw the moon were also named in the FIR.
An FIR was registered against Qari Muhammad Roman, a cleric from Miran Shah, for also announcing Eid on Wednesday.
Over the years, there has been a lot of controversy over clerics taking it upon themselves to declare Eid and the government has struggled to achieve consensus.