ISLAMABAD, Apr 20 : The Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee has announced that the Shawwal moon could not be sighted in Pakistan on Thursday, and that Eid ul Fitr will be celebrated throughout the country on Saturday, April 22.
The announcement was made in the federal capital by Maulana Abdul Khabir Azad who presided over a meeting of the central moon-sighting committee.
Meetings of the zonal moon-sighting committees ended earlier in the evening, with no reports of the Shawwal moon being sighted by any zonal committee.
The councils had already predicted earlier that Eid is likely to be celebrated across the nation this year on Saturday, April 22.
The council’s Secretary-General, Khalid Ijaz Mufti, had said that the birth of the moon is expected to take place on Thursday, April 20, at 9:15am Pakistan time.
The age of the moon at sunset during today’s evening hours will be 9 hours 33 minutes and 12 seconds. While the sun is expected to set at 6:49pm, the moon is likely to go beyond the horizon at 7:10pm.
This, said the expert, alongside other technical factors, renders moon sighting to be unlikely today.
According to expert astronomers, it is necessary for the sighting that the moon stays on the horizon for 40 to 50 minutes after sunset, while the moon will stay on the horizon for only 21 minutes after sunset on April 20 in Pakistan.
Further, on the evening of the 29th of Ramazan, the moon’s age at sunset should be more than 19 hours for sighting. However, in all areas of Pakistan, it will be less than 10 hours.
Meanwhile, the government has declared a nationwide public holiday for five days on the occasion. The holidays will begin on Friday, April 21, and run until Tuesday, April 25, according to a notification issued by the Ministry of Interior.