ISLAMABAD: Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday launched Pakistan 's first official Moon-sighting website and Hijri Calendar.
The launch was carried out at a ceremony where the minister highlighted importance of technology which he said can help sight the moon without much trouble.
"In my opinion Ruet-Hilal Committee is no longer required (for moon-sighting," the minister said of the central body comprising religious scholars and experts.
Fawad Chaudhry has come under severe criticism from religious circles after his statements about the role of clergy in moon-sighting.
Speaking on the occasion, he said that as per lunar calendar, Eidul Fitr would be celebrated on June 5, 2019, and Eidul Azha on August 12 this year.
Addressing a press conference here at Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR), he said that lunar calendar had been prepared with the help of experts and included important dates from 2019 till 2024.
According to the five-year lunar calendar, this year’s Eid will be on June 5. The next four Eids would be on May 24, 2020; May 3, 2021; April 22, 2022 and April 10, 2023. Ch Fawad said that the online portal, comprising both website and mobile application, could help people check the position of moon, adding that the calendar would end the moon-sighting controversies once and for all. He said that the calendar would not diminish the role of religious scholars, adding that the latest technology should be used for important issues like moon-sighting.
The application was prepared with feedback from experts of the Meteorological Department and Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco), he said and added that the application would be available from Monday on the Google play store.
Through this application, moon’s existence over eight strategic locations would be mapped, he added.
The proposal has been sent to the Council of Islamic Ideology, and it would also be presented before the federal cabinet on Tuesday.
He also announced that August would be declared as the Science and Technology Month.
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