Calendar to end moon-sighting row to be ready by 15th Ramazan: Fawad

Updated May 12, 2019

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FAWAD Chaudhry attends a meeting at Karachi University on Saturday.
FAWAD Chaudhry attends a meeting at Karachi University on Saturday.

KARACHI: Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has announced that the lunar calendar, being prepared by a scientific committee formed by the government to end the moon-sighting controversy, would be ready by 15th of Ramazan.

He said this while talking to the media at Karachi University after attending a meeting of the prime minister’s task force on technology-driven knowledge economy on Saturday. Prof Dr Atta-ur-Rahman, chairman of the prime minister’s task force, was also present on the occasion.

The minister said that the calendar showing the exact dates of important Islamic occasions — Ramazan, Eidul Fitr, Eidul Azha, Muharram — will be finalised by the 15th of Ramazan.

Mr Chaudhry, who angered many Islamic scholars by criticising their moon-sighting procedure, claimed that not a single “qualified cleric voiced [concern] against me for setting up of the scientific committee”.

Says the govt is developing a mobile phone app so that masses can sight moon easily

He said that a mobile phone app was also under preparation by the scientific committee after which the people would also be able to sight moon on their mobile phones.

Asks opposition to wait patiently

Talking about the current political developments, he claimed that Prime Minister Imran Khan was the only national leader in the country and the opposition parties should acknowledge this fact.

He asked the opposition parties to wait patiently for five years until Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government ended its tenure. The leaders of opposition parties, who “disfigured” the national economy, must stop fake crying on account of crises linked with the economy, he said.

Responding to the issue of dual nationality, he said that the criticism against any cabinet member for possessing dual nationality was worthless, as they were national assets.

He pointed out that formation of science and technology-based economy and governance were two important challenges for the PTI, adding that the government focused not only on the establishment of technology-driven knowledge economy but also strengthening of large science and research institutions in the country.

He said that Pakistan still owned dominance in the field of “space science” in the Muslim world.

Talking about his ministry, Mr Chaudhry said that various development projects were being initiated at the national level, which include “provision of fresh water” and establishment of 15,000 new schools, where science will be promoted on a priority basis.

The government will also fund “workable projects” of any citizen whose age is below 40, he mentioned.

Earlier, Dr Rahman made a detailed presentation on transformation towards technology-driven economy in the meeting held at the Dr Panjwani Centre for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD), University of Karachi (KU).

The meeting was attended by many national experts and scholars, including Prof Dr Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary, the director of the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences, Syed Yawar Ali, Dr Naveed A. Malik, Science and Technology secretary Nasim Nawaz.

Published in Dawn, May 12th, 2019