An announcement by Pakistani Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry that this year’s Eidul Fitr in the country will be held on Sunday (today), scientifically and logically, has attracted criticisms from Muslim faithful in the country.

The minister announced all coordinates of the new moon well ahead of a meeting of the Ruet-i-Hilal committee at the Met office in Karachi.

His announcement invited reactions from almost all circles, including federal Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Haq Qadri. Some even said that the Ruet-i-Hilal Committee was an organ of the state and ministers should be responsible in giving statements on this matter.

The religious affairs minister said that the final decision of Shawwal moon sighting and announcement of Eidul Fitr would be made by the ulema.

However, he tried to downplay the statement of Mr. Chaudhry, sayings that “he was a good friend who relies on evidence and science but these days he was too much involved in the matter of moon”.

“But, as per the Islamic Sharia the decision of Eid will only be taken by the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee, and the people as well as the government of Pakistan will celebrate Eid according to the decision of the Committee,” the minister for religious affairs said.

“Science and modern tools can be used for evidence and vision, as a representative of the Ministry of Science and Technology was also included in the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee this year.”

A strong reaction was given by the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) against Fawad Chaudhry’s statement, describing his talks as hallucinations with the delusion to conquer the moon and occupy it.

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