In another swipe at Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai on Thursday said that Chaudhry should not have announced the dates for Eidul Azha and Muharram "as there has never really been any disagreement on these dates".
"These two occasions have always taken place on the same date across Pakistan," he said, in a conversation with DawnNewsTV.
"The issue was that of Ramazan. And you can see that in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, we have been celebrating Eid on three [different] days and until now no one had ever taken notice of the matter. This issue has been taken seriously for the first time and we want this matter to be put to rest.
"For that I advise, and also offer on behalf of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government that the chairman of the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee and his team, as well as Fawad Chaudhry of the Ministry of Science and Technology an, d his team come to Peshawar, sit down with our acclaimed scholars and resolve the matter."
Earlier in the day, Chaudhry had announced this year's dates for Eidul Azha and the beginning of the holy month of Muharram according to scientific evidence.
In a tweet, the minister said that this year, Eidul Azha will fall on Monday, Aug 12 while the holy month of Muharram, which marks the start of the Islamic year, will begin on Sunday, Sept 1.
"Now that the argument over this Eid has ended, what are the [dates] for the next two most important Islamic days, i.e., Eidul Azha and [beginning of] Muharram: According to the Hijri calendar, Eidul Azha will fall on Monday, Aug 12 while Muharram will [start] from Sunday, Sept 1," Chaudhry had tweeted.
The KP information minister stressed on the need for the whole country celebrate Eid on the same day while also laying emphasis on the fact that the different relevant bodies must work together and in consultation with one another. He expressed his disapproval of the announcement made by Chaudhry today.
"Every time we celebrate 3 different Eids. We wish for all of Pakistan to celebrate Eid together on the same day and begin fasting on the same day. Only then will this matter stand resolved," he said.
"And as far as Fawad Chaudhry sahib's tweet goes, I am of the opinion that it was inappropriate. He should not have tweeted such a thing today. He has worked very hard, made a calendar and apps which I think is appreciable. He has, in a very short time, really brought the Ministry of Science and Technology to prominence.
"[However], he should not have announced the dates for Eidul Azha and the month of Muharram himself. He should have taken the Central Ruet-i-Hilal committee into confidence and sought their advice. With his announcement, there will be further discord and we wish to see the end of such disagreements. We need to sit together and resolve this issue.
"We wish for there to be one day across Pakistan for Eid and the same day for the beginning of the month of fasting. That will only happen when we kill our ego, put our personal differences aside, and place whatever is to the country's benefit as paramount," said Yousufzai.
"The day we started fasting, on the instructions of the Ruet-i-Hilal Committee, that day too, the moon was quite large in appearance and the day after we celebrated Eid, when it was Eid for others, that day too, the moon was quite prominently visible in the sky...the whole world was watching.
"We need to accept that somewhere there is a fault and we should sit down and reach a solution. If we continue to say 'I am right and you are wrong' then that is also not right. Whoever is tasked with whatever role, should fulfil it, but we should all consult with one another.
"We offer that you come to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa because this issue is ours. Let's solve this together and cooperate with one another," the KP minister concluded by saying.