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KARACHI, July 20: The Ramazan moon was sighted on Friday heralding the beginning of the fasting month.

A meeting of the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee, presided over by its Chairman Mufti Munibur Rehman, made the announcement about the sighting of the moon.

Ulema of different schools of thought attended the meeting which was held at the Pakistan Meteorological Department building in Gulistan-i-Jauhar.

Mufti Munib-ur-Rehman said the moon had been sighted in Dera Ghazi Khan and some other parts of the country.

Zonal Ruet-i-Hilal committees also met separately.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department had announced on Thursday that the moon was likely to be sighted in coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan on Friday.

According to a private television channel, the imam of a mosque in Peshawar who in the past always rejected decisions of the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee, said on Friday that he agreed with the announcement of the committee and that the holy month would begin on Saturday.

As a result, after a long time, Ramazan will begin on the same day almost all over the country except in a few tribal areas where people started fasting on Friday.

After the announcement of moon sighting, President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf sent messages of felicitations to the nation.

Ramazan began on Friday in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, as well as for Lebanon’s Sunni Muslims.

In Bangladesh the holy month begins on Saturday.