PESHAWAR: The central moon sighting committee announced on Wednesday night that people in different parts of the country had sighted the moon and the first of Ramazan would be observed today (Thursday) across the country. The meeting of the committee was held here with Maulana Syed Mohammad Abdul Khabeer Azad in the chair. The meeting continued till 10:20 pm and kept waiting for witnesses.
Simultaneously, the private moon sighting committee under Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai also continued its meeting till late. Moments before the final announcement by the central Ruet-e-Hilal committee, Mufti Shahbab briefly addressed the media persons and others at the historic Masjid Qasim Ali Khan and said that they had forwarded the witnesses to the central committee and were waiting for their announcement. The two bodies made the announcement exactly at the same time a few moments later. In his brief announcement, Maulana Azad said that the central committee received witnesses from Peshawar, Swabi, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Qila Saifullah and Mardan. Therefore, the first of Ramazan would be observed on Thursday (today). He said that the weather was cloudy in different parts of the country. However, there were places where the sky was clear. The committee received witnesses from various parts of the country, he said. Also, the zonal committees across the country held their separate meetings. The official zonal committee in Peshawar met under Maulana Ihsanul Haq, which too received witnesses from various places and sent its recommendation to the central committee, he said. Observance of Ramazan and Eid has remained a perpetual problem in the country. People in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa mostly follow the private moon sighting committee of Masjid Qasim Ali Khan for the purpose, which mostly makes announcement of moon sighting a day ahead of the central committee and thus partial Ramazan or Eid is observed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa a day before the rest of the country. This time both the central and the private committee of Masjid Qasim Ali Khan made simultaneous announcements about moon sighting. Thus the first of Ramazan would be observed in the whole of the country today.