ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Monday said the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) should be handed back to the Ministry of Science and Technology.
He was speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of a space observatory in Islamabad on Monday. Ruet-e-Hilal Committee chairperson Maulana Abdul Khabeer Azad was also present.
"We have laid the foundation of something great here," said Maulana Azad, speaking about the space observatory. "The Ruet-e-Hilal Committee will derive a lot of technical support with the help of this space observatory."
He said Chaudhry had promised the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee full technical support for sighting the moon. The committee's chairperson said efforts were underway to ensure the entire country celebrates the first of Ramadan and Eid on the same day.
He urged people to play their part in ensuring Pakistan is transformed into the State of Madina, in line with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Civil space programme
Speaking at the ceremony, Chaudhry said his ministry will set up space observatories in Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar as well. "Astronomy is a subject that many Muslim scientists hold close to their heart," he said.
He cited a famous verse from iconic poet Allama Iqbal, saying: "Sitaron se aagay jahaan aur bhi hain, abhi ishq ke imtihaan aur bhi hain".
The minister said Pakistan was the second country after the USSR to send its rocket into space, adding that Pakistan started its space mission in 1960.
Speaking about the modern era, Chaudhry said the dispute was no longer whether one saw the moon or not. "The problem nowadays is, how will those mark Ramadan who are living on the moon?" he asked, adding that the world is heading towards colonising the moon.
Maulana Azad says he will ensure Eid and Ramazan observed on same dates countrywide
This is not the first time Maulana Azad has voiced the desire to ensure the whole country marks the first of Ramadan and Eid on the same dates.
In January, he had said his committee will try its best to "ensure that the country's entire Muslim population will observe Ramadan fasts and celebrate Eid on the same days."
Azad had also held a meeting with provincial Auqaf (trust) minister Saeedul Hasan Shah and had said that he would bring an improvement in the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee's working, adding that he will make decisions with "all schools of thought on board."
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