Today, Pakistan for the first time in zillion years is united on the day of Eid-Ul-Fitr. The controversial Islamic cleric and the head of a private committee of local clerics, Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai, has always declared the religious festivities a day before the official announcement by the government sponsored Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee.
Although Popalzai’s announcement was only obliged in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the previous years, the government lobbied hard to get its people united in all the four provinces for such an auspicious occasion. Insiders have revealed that PML-N took help from the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) in curbing the activities of the local committee. The JUI-F leaders personally held meetings with Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai and other seniors of the committee to put the moon sighting issue to rest. In return, the cleric and his men are sent to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah and will only return after Eid, making any announcement that will disrupt the integrity of the Ruet-i-Hilal Committee impossible.
However, a senior member of the private committee said that in the absence of a couple of senior members the committee’s activities would not be affected, a statement that was just to keep the blood pumping of their followers.