Eid Al-Fitr to be observed across Pakistan on Sunday

People wearing facemasks shop for clothes at a market ahead of the Eid al-Fitr in Karachi on May 20, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 23 May 2020

Eid Al-Fitr to be observed across Pakistan on Sunday

  • After intense wait, science ministry, moon-sighting committee share consensus on Eid moon
  • First time Muslim world will celebrate Eid on the same day: Fawad Chaudhry

ISLAMABAD: Pakistanis will celebrate Eid Al-Fitr on Sunday, the country’s central moon-sighting committee chairman, Mufti Muneebur Rehman, announced late Saturday after an intense evening of waiting for a verdict on the date of the biggest Islamic holiday of the year. 

The Muslim majority country of 210 million people has for days been embroiled in a debate between the federal science ministry and the moon-sighting committee known as Ruet-e-Hilal, under whose purview the announcement for Eid traditionally falls. The committee meets in Karachi every year for the moon-sighting and Eid announcement.

But earlier in the day, across the length of the country in Islamabad, federal minister for science Fawad Chaudhry said Eid Al-Fitr would be celebrated in the country on Sunday according to calculations made by his ministry. 

Addressing a press conference, he said his ministry was aiming to end the conflict over moon-sighting by relying on technology.

"Islam is a religion of knowledge and intellect. Whoever says technology should not be involved in moon-sighting, we reject their view,” Chaudhry said and added it would be the first time Muslim countries all over the world celebrated Eid Al-Fitr on the same day.

Following this, Pakistan’s minister for religious affairs said the final verdict on the sighting of the Shawwal moon remained under the jurisdiction of the Ruet-e-Hilal task force, which relies on the spotting of the moon with the human eye. 

Pakistanis will celebrate a muted Eid this year amid a surge in cases and fatalities related to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as a tragic plane crash that killed 97 people in its biggest city, Karachi, on Friday.

England confirm Pakistan Test dates

Updated 06 July 2020

England confirm Pakistan Test dates

  • The first match of the Pakistan series will take place at Old Trafford
  • Venues are considered bio-secure, with hotels on site

LONDON: England cricket chiefs on Monday confirmed dates and venues for Pakistan’s three-Test tour, with the series starting at Old Trafford on Aug. 5.

International cricket returns on Wednesday following the coronavirus lockdown when England play the first match of their three-Test series against the West Indies at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, followed by two matches at Old Trafford, in Manchester.

The first match of the Pakistan series will also take place at Old Trafford, with the second two at the Ageas Bowl. The second Test starts on Aug. 13, with the third beginning on Aug. 21.

Both venues are considered bio-secure, with hotels on site.

Old Trafford will also host three Twenty20 international matches between England and Pakistan, on Aug. 28, 30 and Sept. 1.

Ireland will play three one-day internationals at the Ageas Bowl on July 30, Aug. 1 and Aug. 4.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said: “Confirmation of these matches against Ireland and Pakistan is another important step for our game as we begin to safely stage international cricket again, but also to minimize the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had, and will continue to have, on cricket at all levels.

“It has taken significant effort and expertise to allow us to reach a position where cricket is now ready and able to return to the field of play from the elite level to recreational cricket.”

Talks are ongoing over potential dates for Australia’s white-ball tour and England women’s tri-series against India and South Africa.