PESHAWAR: The holy month of fasting will officially begin in Pakistan on Thursday (March 23), as the Ramadan crescent moon was sighted on Wednesday evening.
The announcement was made by Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee chairman Maulana Abdul Khabir Azad at a press conference in Peshawar.
Saudi Arabia and most other Gulf states will also start the fasting month on Thursday (tomorrow).
However, the Ramadan moon was not sighted in India and Bangladesh.
The announcement was made hours after the session began at 5pm in Peshawar, while the moon wasn’t cited in Peshawar due to cloudy weather it was seen in several other areas of the country.
Addressing the press conference, Maulana Azad said that the committee received moon-sighting testimonies from a number of places in the country, including Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Swabi, Qila Saifullah and Mardan.
It is pertinent to mention here, the people across Pakistan will observe Roza on the same day after several years as previously people in Peshawar used to keep fast a day before rest of the people did.
Earlier, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said that there were chances of the crescent moon being sighted today, but the weather is cloudy.
The moon can be sighted at around 7:28pm today in Karachi, the PMD officials had said during the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee's Zonal meeting in Karachi.
Earlier, an official of the Ministry of Religious Affairs told The News along with holding meetings of the committee in all provinces in rotation, the purpose for holding the meeting this time in Peshawar was also to create consensus on the sighting of the crescent of Ramadan on the same day.
He said that along with receiving calls for evidence, the committee would also invite people from the private Ruet committees to record their statements. The committee would also cross-question people recording their evidence to ascertain the same.
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