Developing: Pakistanis await Eid ul Fitr announcement

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The Ruet-e-Hilal committee’s pronouncement on whether the Shawwal moon has been sighted had Pakistanis glued to news sources on Saturday evening. The big question was whether the nation would celebrate Eid tomorrow (Sunday). We will update this story as soon as the announcement is made.

Earlier today, Federal Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the Eid moon will be visible in Pakistan tonight (Saturday night), making Sunday Eid. 

The Ruet-e-Hilal Committee session to sight the moon and announce Eidul Fitr is currently in progress. Testimonies are being gathered from across the country.

The meeting was held in Karachi and chaired by Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman. Zonal committees are taking place at their respective provincial headquarters.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department experts are also a part of the session. 

In Quetta and other parts of Balochistan, the province’s zonal committee has announced that the moon could not be sighted.

India has announced Eid will be celebrated on Monday.

Chaudhry had a press conference on Saturday where he said the State was trying to accommodate religious groups when it shouldn’t be. The State is and should be above factions, he said. 

Chaudhry’s statements came as no surprise as he has been vocal in his opposition of the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee, Pakistan’s official moon sighting body. 

He rejected statements by people who said science and technology had no place in Islam. 

He also slammed ‘maulvis’ who were fine with wearing glasses to see the moon but not use telescopes. It’s all science and technology, said the minister. 

There was a new moon on May 22 at 10:39pm, he said, and it will be in position after sunset on Saturday. He said this year, Saudi Arabia has revised its moon sighting criteria, which is why Pakistan will be celebrating Eid on the same day as it.

Saudi Arabia will celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr on Sunday, authorities announced Friday evening.

Eid prayers in Saudi Arabia will be offered at homes as the authorities have announced that the kingdom will remain under curfew during the five-day holiday. The decision is aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus.

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