UNFORTUNATELY, Shawwal moon sighting controversy is far from over in our country. We probably will be the only country in the world where its people celebrate this auspicious occasion on two different days.
Unlike the rest of Pakistan where Eid is being celebrated today, Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa celebrated it on Monday.
Special Assistant to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government Barrister Dr Muhammad Ali Saif whilst taking to the twitter stated that the decision of officially celebrating Eid on Monday was taken after receiving one hundred and thirty sighting evidence from different parts of the province.
Minister for Religious Affairs Abdul Shakoor’s statement added further controversy when he stated that the Zonal Committee in Peshawar had received the reports of moon sighting after the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee’s meeting had ended.
As per the modus operandi, the Central Committee takes the final decision about the sighting or otherwise of moon after taking input from all the Zonal Bodies and as reported on the media also, no moon sighting evidence was conveyed to the Central Committee which continued its meeting well beyond 9.00 pm on Sunday.
There was also statement of Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) that the new moon of Shawwal may not be sighted on Sunday.
Hence, there is no justification whatsoever to make the decision of Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee controversial.
We should abstain from such practices as it will only further erode the confidence of the masses on the current mechanism of moon sighting.
In our view, once the decision is taken by the Central Committee, all the Zonal Bodies should abide by it.
It is also surprising that the people in North Waziristan celebrated the Eid a day before the KP. The question is for how long this phenomenon will continue.
The nation is already highly polarised, and one event of Eid which unites the divided populace- should not be made another event of controversy.
We will suggest the religious scholars from all schools of thought to sit together and formulate a mechanism to end this controversy once and for all.