The government on Wednesday announced that August 12, 13, 14 and 15 will be observed as holidays on account of Eidul Azha. According to a notification issued by the Ministry of Interior, Saturday, August 17, will be a working day. Last month, Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry had announced that this year, Eidul Azha would fall on Monday, August 12.
The announcement was made on the basis of a ‘scientific’ lunar calendar launched by the ministry in June in order to end controversies over the sighting of the moon for Islamic months. The calendar, which can be accessed through Pakistan’s “first official” moonsighting website as well as a mobile application, indicates scientifically determined dates for all major Islamic festivals/days for the ongoing and next years.
The launch of the website had attracted much opposition from religious factions, which insisted that the sighting of the moon should be done in person and regardless of scientific evidence.