ISLAMABAD: There is no need for the Ruet-i-Hilal Committee in the country as the ministry of science and technology has developed a Ruet app, announced federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Monday.
Addressing a press conference, he said the summary which includes recommendations to abolish the Ruet-i-Hilal Committee and the scientific Islamic lunar calendar prepared by the ministry to be made the official Hijri calendar of the country would be forwarded to the federal cabinet soon.
“We need to move ahead with the times. [Because of] the scientific Islamic lunar calendar prepared by the ministry [we know] that Eidul Azha will be on Aug 12,” said the minister.
On May 3, Mr Chaudhry had formed a committee of five experts from the ministry of science and technology, Meteorological Department and the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) to determine moon-sighting for key Islamic dates and months scientifically, putting an end to ancient and outdated practice of looking for it physically with telescopes.
Claims his ministry is also working on an app which will resolve ongoing tussle between FBR and traders
“We have shared the calendar with other Islamic nations such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE and all have appreciated our efforts,” the minister said, “We are planning to forward it to the Foreign Office who can then present it to the OIC [Organisation of Islamic Cooperation]. We expect the OIC to adopt this calendar and make it the first unified calendar of the Muslim world. If the calendar is adopted [by the Muslim world] it will add to the unity of Islamic world,” he said.
App for traders
He also mentioned developing an app which he claimed would resolve the current tussle between the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) and traders.
“The ministry is working on another app which would allow local purchases including groceries from mobile phones. Taking advantage of [data of] 220 million citizens available with Nadra [National Database and Registration Authority] the traders will not be able to hide their sales. Besides, data of more than 140 million mobile phone users is also available with Nadra. The app will become operational within six months,” he said.
During the presser he also outlined future plans of his ministry such as a science fair and conference scheduled for Oct 17. The invitation to the conference will be extended to Malala Yousafzai and all those global figures who have excelled in the field of innovation, he said.
The minister then shifted the focus of his press conference to political issues and said allegations against Nawaz Sharif and his family were simple as their total proven assets were around three billion US dollars, and authorities and the National Accountability Bureau were only seeking details and source of that amount.
“They need to clarify their position in the courts as it was done by Imran Khan, who even presented the details of his earnings even those from the Kerry Packer series in 1970s in Australia. Nawaz Sharif claims that the details of amounts may be sought from his sons, but Hassan and Hussain Nawaz maintain they are British citizens and Pakistani laws do not apply on them. However, Maryam Nawaz has a different point of view instead of giving the details of the ill gotten money,” he added.
Published in Dawn, July 16th, 2019