Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee Chairman Mufti Muneebur Rehman on Saturday announced the sighting of the moon for the month of Shawwal, saying Eidul Fitr will be celebrated across Pakistan on Sunday (today). He made the announcement at a press conference after chairing a meeting of the committee held in Karachi. Separate meetings of zonal Ruet committees were also held at their respective regional headquarters. Earlier in the day, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry had said that Eidul Fitr will be celebrated in the country on Sunday, according to calculations made by his ministry. Addressing a news briefing in Islamabad, he said his ministry wanted to end the conflict over moon-sighting by relying on technology, adding that he rejected notions that technology should not be involved in moon-sighting. “Islam is a religion of knowledge and intellect. Whoever says technology should not be involved in moon-sighting, we reject their perspective. When you wear glasses, this is also technology. How can you say if I see with glasses, it is halal but if I see through telescope, it is haram?” he questioned.“[The government] is always trying to accommodate different religious groups which has resulted in empowering sectarian groups. We see that our state accommodates religious groups during the Eid conflict every year even though we should pay heed to the Constitution, law and human intelligence in some matters. “Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai, who heads Peshawar’s Qasim Khan Mosque, makes a different announcement, the Ruet-i-Hilal committee makes another, so we decided this year [that the science ministry] would use technology to determine when Eid should be celebrated.”He said the ministry of science and technology had formed a committee comprising members from the space technology department, mathematicians and officials from the meteorological department, which concluded that Eidul Fitr in Pakistan will be on Sunday. He added that the committee also took opinions of ulema into consideration. Chaudhry said his ministry had identified eight areas across the country where the moon could be seen. Explaining further, he said there was a certain waiting period after sunset for the moon to be seen. “Saudi Arabia declares that the moon has been sighted only if they can view it a minute after the sun sets. After conferring with experts, the first principle we decided upon was that the ministry would wait for the moon to appear 38 minutes after sunset. The height of the moon should be 6.5 degrees and the minimum angle at which the moon can be seen should be nine degrees,” he said.He refuted the perception that the moon needed to be sighted to declare Eid. “This is not necessary as shown by teachings of Imam Hanbal and the religious scholar Javed Ahmed Ghamidi,” he said. The ministry has created a mobile application – The Ruet – through which people could see the position of the moon. He said it is the first time that Muslim countries all over the world will celebrate Eidul Fitr on the same day.