ISLAMABAD: Religious Affairs Minister Sardar Muhammad Yousaf has written letters to the chief ministers of all the four provinces and Gilgit-Baltistan to grant the Ruet-i-Hilal Committee (RHC) a legal status.
In his letters, Yousaf asks the chief ministers to lobby for provincial assembly resolutions on the regulation of the Ruet-i-Hilal Committee. He wants them to pass the resolutions so that a final draft could be finalised and be presented to the National Assembly.
According to the joint secretary of the religious affairs ministry Noor Salam Shah, the requests have been sent under Article 141 of the Constitution. The ministry had already prepared a draft of a resolution to empower the controversial committee so that it could be legalised. However, it could not be moved as it requires at least two provincial assemblies to pass resolutions for its regulation, explained Shah.
He stated that under Article 141 if assemblies of two provinces pass resolutions in favour of the same subject then the federal government can oversee the matter.
The joint secretary stated that the objection was raised by the law ministry when they had finalised the draft. This he stated led the minister to request the chief ministers to pass resolutions so the ministry could present the bill in the lower house. Shah added that this move would also help in ending the controversy over the onset of Ramazan and Eid.
The conflict over the start of Ramazan and Eid originates mainly from Masjid Qasim Khan in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. The mosque has often found itself at odds with the findings of the RHC, contradicting moon-sigh ting reports for Ramazan and Shawwal. However, this year the ministry worked hard to coordinate with Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai of Masjid Qasim Khan and the provincial authorities of K-P, ensuring that Eid was celebrated on the same day across the country.