Where is the moon?! Arguments over Ramadan in Pakistan stir controversy
No moon in sight? Muslim clerics monitor the sky through binoculars to determine the first day of Ramadan (File/AFP)
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The holy month of Ramadan will begin in most parts of the country on Monday as, according to the central Ruet-i-Hilal (moon sighting) Committee, the moon was not sighted anywhere in Pakistan on Saturday.
Mufti Munibur Rehman, chairman of the Ruet-i-Hilal Committee, announced after chairing a meeting in Karachi that since the Ramadan moon was not seen anywhere in the country on Saturday, the holy month would begin on Monday (June 30).
But in what has now become almost an unavoidable ritual in the build-up to Ramadan as well as Eid Al Fitr, Mufti Shahabuddin Populzai, the self-styled chairman of an unofficial Ruet body in Peshawar, came up with a claim close to midnight that he had received “enough eyewitness accounts” to establish the sighting of the crescent. “The first day of Ramadan will, therefore, fall on Sunday (today).”
Local ulema in Bajaur and Mohmand tribal agencies also said Ramadan would begin on Sunday.
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