ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Monday said Islamabad Space Observatory will help in moon sighting on Ramazan and Eid and develop a consensus on observing such events on the same day across the country.
“We will be able to assist the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee to see the moon of Ramazan and Eid through this observatory which would help develop consensus to observe such events on the same day in the country”, he said while speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony of Islamabad Space Observatory. The minister said, “This is a historic occasion when we are building an observatory in Islamabad after which more such Observatories will be built in Gwadar, Karachi and Peshawar”.
The federal minister observed that the field of Astronomy has remained close to the hearts of the Muslim Scientists and Muslim kings gave a great place to astronomers.
Since the beginning, man’s focus was on the sun, moon and stars and the stars were used to find the way in the ancient time, he said while quoting Allama Muhammad Iqbal, who said, “There are worlds beyond the stars”. The minister stated that Pakistan was established as a modern Islamic country and started its space program in the 1960’s but unfortunately “we lost our destination along the way”.
Pointing out towards the fast pace advancement in every field of life, the minister said that it doesn’t matter if we can see the moon or not. Now the next Shariah issue will be how the people on the moon will celebrate Eid. He said private tours to the moon could begin in the next ten to fifteen years. The minister stressed the need to discourage people with backward thinking, asking how can religion be kept away from knowledge, reason and logic?
The minister also emphasized on making Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) more effective organization and said, “SUPARCO has still room for improvement”.
The minister said SUPARCO has also planned to send its first space mission to the moon in partnership with China which is a move towards regaining past glory. Speaking on the occasion, Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF), Dr. Shahid Baig said PSF has been working to promote science and technology and Science centers have been set up in different cities in this regard.
He said that PSF was also running Science Caravans for promoting awareness of science in the new generation. About the Islamabad Space Observatory, he said the observatory will be equipped with state-of-the-art telescopes. He said the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee will be invited for moon sighting through this observatory. He disclosed that five such space centers will be set up across the country. Chairman Ruet-e-Hilal Committee, Maulana Abdul Khabir and other members of the committee were also present on the occasion besides scientists and space technology experts.